SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Both Congress and President Trump are taking broad strides to try and contain the coronavirus and mitigate the damage the outbreak is doing to the national economy.
At the state level, all three governors in the tri-state area are working to contain the virus with big decisions being handed down on Friday.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced two more COVID-19 cases in the state on Friday morning and then declared a state of emergency Friday night.
I am declaring a State of Emergency in Nebraska as we continue to work to be the best prepared state in the nation for COVID-19,” said Governor Ricketts. “All across the state, individuals, businesses, employers, and churches are stepping up to make plans to mitigate the impact of the virus. There is a role for each one of us in this as we work together to keep people healthy.
Ricketts said officials at Nebraska Medicine are working to slow down the spread of the virus and track and determine how each person became ill.
"Nebraska public health is working very diligently with our cases to be able to trace back how those people got it. And it's primarily related to travel," Ricketts said.
At this time, there are no cases of community spread in Nebraska but Ricketts says they have a plan in place once that changes.
"As we approach 1% of the population having the virus, that is when we at the state will make the decision to close down schools and large public gatherings," he said. "When we have cases that we can't track in a community, we will be closing school for 6-8 weeks."
Ricketts says closing schools in the state is about protecting those who are at risk for serious complications should they catch the virus.
Currently, the state of Nebraska has the capability to test 200 more people.
In South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem held two statewide updates. In her first, Noem declared a state of emergency in South Dakota in response to COVID-19.
"I just signed a state of emergency order which will direct the Department of Health and other agencies to seek and to accept funding or other resources from government or private entities to treat, control and to stop the spread of COVID-19," Noem said.
Noem also ordered all public K-12 schools in the state to close the week of March 16th and urged private schools to close as well.
"I am recommending that schools use this time to clean their facilities and prepare for the following week."
All state basketball tournaments and extracurricular activities have been postponed in the state as well.
Noem has also asked all nursing homes in the state to restrict visitors.
In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds says 10 of the Iowans quarantined from the Grand Princess cruise ship will be home Friday with 10 more home Saturday.
"And throughout the week, we have assembled teams to address the immediate public health needs and protect the people of the great state of Iowa," Reynolds said.
Governor Reynolds also said that at this time, there is no community spread in the state and she does not advise schools to close but says they should be prepared.
"The Department of Education issued guidance for Iowa's K-12 schools. Now is the time for Iowa schools to be putting their plans in place for when community spread occurs," Reynolds said.
15 of Iowa's current cases of COVID-19 are from the same Egyptian cruise ship.
To stay up to date with the latest announcements from your state, you can follow each governor on social media.
RICKETTS: Facebook, Twitter, Website
NOEM: Facebook, Twitter, Website
REYNOLDS: Facebook, Twitter, Website
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