WATCH: Governor announces new ‘essential caregiver’ initiative

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- This press conference was previously streamed. Attached is a recording of the live stream. 

With coronavirus restrictions preventing family members from visiting their loved ones at high risk for the virus, it puts a lot of stress on the families and the facilities.

To help relieve some of this pressure, Governor Pete Ricketts announced at his Dec. 4 press conference a new “essential caregiver” initiative.

An essential caregiver could be a “family member, a friend, a volunteer” that can assist long-term care residents. The caregiver won’t be providing medical treatment, but they will act as a liaison for their resident concerning specific care needs.

“It’s somebody who can be there for that residence,” explained the Governor.

The caregiver will also be responsible for dressing the resident and helping them get their day started.

Ultimately, just having someone to interact with means so much to long-term care residents after being isolated for extended periods.

Essential caregivers will have to receive training in order to maintain the level of safety within the facility like how to properly put on and take off PPE.

This program is still in the process of being rolled out and Nebraska facilities have the choice to participate or not.

Click here for more information about essential caregivers.


The Governor also touched on the distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine. As of now, health healthcare workers and high-risk individuals, like long-term care residents, are first in line.

But, what about food processors?

At the start of the pandemic, meatpacking plants, like Tyson, were among the hardest hit leading to meat shortages across Nebraska.

According to the Governor, no plans have been discussed concerning distributing the vaccine to these workers.

“As we go through phase one, we still got a lot of people to work through. So, we’re really focused on that,” explained Gov. Ricketts. “We’re still waiting to get that emergency use authorization from the FDA, so we don’t even have that yet.”



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