Nebraska Gov. Ricketts and first lady exposed to coronavirus

November 10, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts, with first lady Susanne Shore behind him, acknowledges veterans sitting in the visitor's balcony during his annual State of the State address to lawmakers in Lincoln, Neb. Gov. Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore have gone into quarantine after both were exposed to a person with the coronavirus, the governor's spokesman announced Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik File)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts, with first lady Susanne Shore behind him, acknowledges veterans sitting in the visitor's balcony during his annual State of the State address to lawmakers in Lincoln, Neb. Gov. Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore have gone into quarantine after both were exposed to a person with the coronavirus, the governor's spokesman announced Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik File)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore have gone into quarantine after both were exposed to a person with the coronavirus, the governor’s spokesman announced Tuesday.

Ricketts and Shore had dinner outside at their home in Omaha with three other people on Sunday night, spokesman Taylor Gage said. One of the people who was with them tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

Gage said Ricketts and Shore will quarantine for 14 days. Neither is showing any symptoms, and both will get tested. Ricketts said he and his wife will wait several days before getting tested to make sure the virus could be detected by the testing if it is present.

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Ricketts hosted his Tuesday news conference virtually, and he plans to continue working remotely while his quarantine continues through Nov. 22. He urged everyone to wear masks and try to maintain social distancing in public and wash hands often to help limit the spread of the virus.

“Of course me quarantining is a great reminder that we still have the virus in our community. We still have a pandemic going on,” Ricketts said.

Nebraska has seen a recent record-setting surge in new, known virus cases and hospitalizations, prompting Ricketts to reimpose some of the public health mandates that were lifted in September. Some Nebraska medical officials have said those steps aren’t enough, and they’re concerned that growing caseloads will soon overwhelm the state’s hospitals.

The state said the number of people hospitalized with the virus continued to grow Monday and set another new record at 820. Nebraska reported 1,582 new cases and seven new deaths Monday to give the state 85,551 cases and 710 deaths linked to the virus.

Nebraska had the sixth-highest rate of new cases in the nation Monday. And the 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in the state increased over the past two weeks from 818.43 new cases per day on Oct. 26 to 1,757.57 new cases per day on Monday.

On Tuesday, Nebraska officials announced a new online program to help connect nurses and nursing assistants with openings across the state. Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer, said he hopes this new program will help hospitals and other facilities handle the surge in patients the state is seeing. The state has already allocated $40 million to help hospitals hire additional staff or offer extra pay to current workers to add capacity.

“We have seen quite a bit of an increase in our hospitalizations which is stressing our health care workforce,” Anthone said.