Ricketts requests emergency funding
Last week, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts requested $58.6 million in emergency funding to help combat COVID-19.
Ricketts was joined Friday by Jim Macy, Director of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (DEE) and Tim Burke, President & Chief Executive Officer for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).
Macy updated the legislature on the continuous available supply of clean drinking water in Nebraska, while Burke said the state’s public power is dependable.
Ricketts request includes:
DHHS Public Health
Local Response Efforts—$38,156,700
This will provide additional funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies to local jurisdictions, and support to local health departments to help fund essential expenditures.
Due to the size of the response and need to cover response needs, additional staffing expenditures are needed to cover costs for overtime and additional staff.
Surge Staffing for Veterans Hospitals & DHHS Care Facilities—$13,000,000
Additional staffing expenditures are needed to cover costs for overtime and additional staff to maintain facility healthcare coverage needs. This was calculated to cover a surge of 50% in additional staffing needs in the event that staff is unable to care for individuals at the facilities due to staff quarantine or isolation requirements.
COVID-19 Lab Testing—$515,000
This would augment the cost of the reagents, laboratory personnel and equipment. This would include funds to purchase a combined sample extraction/detection robot for efficient and accurate serial processing of specimens.
Lab Equipment, Software Programming and Personnel—$2,500,000
The equipment includes higher throughput automated equipment for microbiology and molecular diagnostics. The increased testing throughput will be implemented on a fast track within the next 2-4 weeks but would support a prolonged outbreak, as well as help prepare for future outbreaks.
UV Light Boxes—$100,000
The UV light boxes would provide tertiary cleaning of N95 respirators for reuse by healthcare workers.
This system is used by coalitions and all stakeholders across the state to establish an interoperable platform for communication, bed tracking, resource sharing,and an overall interoperable platform.