Check out National Housing resource page on COVID-19 here
Nebraska School closures
Omaha Public Schools and other districts now say school closures will last until further notice, based on the recommendations from the State Department of Education.
Districts are offering no tentative return dates and informing students and parents about e-learning options
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she will seek legislation to waive the mandatory number of required school days in a year.
Metropolitan Community College announced it is moving its classes to eLearning and other alternate delivery methods through May 22. For more information, click here.
Midland University will continue e-learning through the end of the spring semester.
The Archdiocese of Omaha is preparing its 71 schools for remote learning that begins Monday, March 23 and could last as long as six to eight weeks.
Nebraska Food Resources
The Salvation Army is providing pantry orders. Anyone in need may pick up a food box at the Burrows Center, 6101 NW Radial Highway, between 9am-11am, and 1pm to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday.
The Food Bank for the Heartland announced plans to help families in need during COVID-19. There are multiple locations around town to provide drive-up food donations to families. Click here to see the full list.
The NorthStar Foundation, the Learning Community of Douglas & Sarpy Counties and Millard Public Schools are distributing evening meals at three drive-up location sites through March 20. Sites will be open from 4 – 6 p.m. Families can pick up meals at: NorthStar Foundation at 4292 N 49th Street, the Learning Community of South Omaha at 2302 M Street and Millard Middle School at 12801 L Street.
Council Bluffs Public Schools District is offering daily drive-thru or walk-up meals at its schools from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children must be present to receive meals.
DC West Schools will provide students with daily breakfast and lunch pick-up meals from 11:30 a.m. to noon at these locations: Platte Valley Apartments in Valley; The Pines bus stop, 7516 N 286th Street; DC West MS/HS building in the bus lane, 401 S Pine Street, Christian Church parking lot in Waterloo, and Thrive Space parking lot in Waterloo.
Ralston Public Schools is offering daily breakfast and lunch pick-up meals for students. Families can pick up meals at Ralston High School and Ralston Middle School from 9 a.m. to noon.
Rejoice! Lutheran Church is setting up an emergency food pantry at its campus at 2556 S. 138th Street on Tuesdays from noon to 5 p.m.
Abide is working to help North Omaha residents. They are collecting non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, diapers/wipes etc to pass out to vulnerable families in our Lighthouse Neighborhoods Monday-Saturday until March 31st. Contact Rosie Schuman at 402-201-3419 for more information.
ENOA Rural Transportation offers services for elderly, disabled and general public. It covers Rural, Douglas, Sarpy, Washington & Cass counties. All vans are handicapped accessible. Minimum 24 hours advance notice is required. Available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost varies: 1-10 miles, $3 each way; 11-20miles $6 each way; 21-40 miles, $7 each way. Call 1-888-210-1093 to reserve a ride.
Seniors Helping Seniors offers free rides to seniors requiring transportation throughout Omaha and Sarpy County. Call to schedule with 24 hours notice: 402-331-3073. Seniors Helping Seniors can’t serve persons confined to a wheelchair. Call for rates and more information.
Goodwill Medical Transportation: Call 402-932-1550 for ride services between Monday and Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. It accepts Medicaid and private payment. Rates are $18 each way or $42 with wheelchair.
GoGO Grandparent (Uber for seniors): Once set up, seniors just make a phone call for an Uber ride. No app necessary. Call 1-855-464-6872 to set up an account.
Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000 or visit the organization’s website here.
It’s open 24/7 for anyone in a crisis situation.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
Women’s Crisis Line, Women’s Center for Advancement: If you are in need of domestic violence or sexual assault help services, you can call a hotline at anytime at 402-345-7273. Visit online resources here.
The Nebraska Family Helpline is always open at (888) 866-8660.
The Iowa Family Helpline is always open at (515) 243-6147.
United Way is assisting families with resources if bills begin to collect because of business closures. Just dial 211.
OPPD is urging customers to pay electric bills online. However, OPPD says it will not disconnect customers for non-payment through April 30.
MUD says it will not disconnect customers because of late payments until further notice.
The Department of Health and Human Services is assisting people who are facing economic hardship. Call (800) 383-4278 for their economic assistance hotline.
Cox is offering free internet for families without a connection. The service is free for the first 30 days. Families can apply for Connect2Compete service at cox.com/connect2compete.
Nebraska Health and Human Services reminds residents that drinking water remains safe to use. There have been no instances anywhere of COVID-19 in any water supply. Common disinfection methods continue for water supplies in Nebraska and Iowa.
The Archdiocese of Omaha has suspended all public Masses and communal celebration of the Sacraments until further notice.
For the health and safety of volunteers, Omaha Parks & Recreation will not be doing any organized group park clean-ups for the next few weeks to follow CDC guidelines.
The Douglas County Treasurer will no longer accept walk-in traffic for license renewals. Nebraska has closed the Millard DMV office until further notice. All drive test appointments have been cancelled, and those with appointments will be contacted.
Omaha Public Power District and the Metropolitan Utilities District are closing their joint customer service office at Energy Plaza, 444 South 16th Street until further notice.
The Omaha Housing Authority is closed to the public until further notice. Staff will continue to report.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared a state of emergency Tuesday. It requires restaurants to conduct business only by carry-out, drive-thru or delivery, and mandates the closure of bars, movie theaters, casinos and recreation and fitness facilities. Any public gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people and senior citizen and adult daycare facilities are closed.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order allowing state and local governmental boards, commissions and public bodies to meet electronically through May 31. Meetings must be available for the public to see.
The Nebraska Legislature has suspended its 2020 session until further notice. Speaker Jim Scheer says an emergency session may be called to authorize spending to address the Coronavirus threat.
The Iowa Legislature has suspended its session until mid-April.
Nebraska’s Department of Corrections has suspended all visitation at prison facilities until further notice. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the corrections system.
Cox2Complete is offering low-cost internet access to families in need. You can apply for that here.
The Strategic Air & Space Museum will be closed through March 31.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will be closed through the end of March. The zoo says it is not aware of any employee or guest who has been positive for Coronavirus. The closure is strictly precautionary.
Lauritzen Gardens is closed until further notice.
All Omaha Public Libraries will be closed until further notice. Also closed: Hanscom Park Tennis Center, Hummel Nature Center, Koch Family Tennis Center, Motto McLean Ice Arena and indoor pools at community centers.
All Community Center and library programs operated by the city of Omaha are suspended, including the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging senior meals program at Florence, Camelot, Adams and Montclair. Meals on Wheels will provide home meal deliveries
Papillion has closed Sump Memorial Library and the Papillion Landing Community Recreation Center until further notice.
How to Help
- The Omaha Community Foundation and other foundations have established a COVID-19 Response Fund. The money will provide resources to metro organizations helping communities impacted by the economic consequences of the Coronavirus concern. The fund will help meet immediate needs, and then provide operating grants to groups helping low-income residents or those who may not have health insurance, You can donate at this link.
- “Flattening the Curve”. Nebraska Medicine CEO Doctor James Linderr explains the importance of limiting large gatherings of people in this post.
Dr. Linder says one infected person infects 2.5 others. According to current estimates, 5 out of every 100 may need to be hospitalized. In Nebraska, that could be up to 90,000. That’s far short of the hospital beds available in the state.
Douglas County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center: 402-444-3400 (Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4pm)
United Way’s 211 Information Line will answer Covid-19 questions
Omaha’s Methodist Health System’s COVID-19 hotline staffed from 6am to 11pm. Call 402-815-SICK.
Pottawattamie County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center: 712-890-5398, or 712-890-5369 (Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm)
Officials also announced that bars were now closed and restaurants were on carry-out and delivery only.
Prior to the public announcement, the Douglas County Health Director announced mandatory restrictions on most public gatherings. Gatherings of more than ten people are now prohibited until April 30.
The ban would not apply to the following:
- Medical providers
- Public utilities
- Critical county and city operations
- Business operations
- Logistics centers
- Congregate living setting
- Public transportation
- Airport travel
- Shopping at gas stations
- Family residences