At his news conference yesterday, Gov. Ricketts said he expects that Nebraska will reach the peak of COVID-19 cases at the end of April. In the meantime, Gov. Ricketts asked that all Nebraskans follow social distancing guidelines. He reminded Nebraskans to Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay Connected and to follow the statewide Directed Health Care Measure (DHM) imposed for all counties and any local DHMs ordered by communities.

 Gov. Ricketts asked people to celebrate the holidays with the people in their household rather than in larger gatherings as they have in years past. Stay home and do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 Ricketts proclaimed Sunday as a Statewide Day of Prayer. He asked that Nebraskans pray for the people being impacted by COVID-19, for people who are ill, for nurses and doctors, police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and for people in nursing homes.

 Nebraska bankers in 160 banks are working to process applications for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protections Program. Bankers are working hard to get those applications in. More than 7,837 applications have been submitted for $1.47 billion dollars for companies here in the state. The program is designed to help businesses stay open and retain their people. Businesses should contact their banker to begin the process as soon as possible. Local valentine area banks are able to help.