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Covid-19 Impacts: March 20

Paying classified staff at Blair Community Schools was approved at last night’s special meeting of the Board of Education. Those secretaries, bus drivers, custodians and other support staff will receive 75 percent of their usual pay during the shutdown ordered by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. Superintendent Randy Gilson says if work can be generated for classified staff, they will be paid 100 percent. The district is also considering a more extensive use of summer school to not only help those students who need a little more tutoring, but to help utilize staff as well.

The Covid-19 pandemic is making all schools quickly prepare for alternative ways to educate students. School Board President Cari Loseke says the district has contended with flooding and epic hail storms, but this epidemic is new territory for everyone. Dr. Gilson praised district staff in their rapid response to the pandemic and providing alternate methods to teach the district’s students and provide for their needs usually met at school.

It’s Friday, that usually means going out with family or friends and relaxing from the work week. With the ten person group rule, this means many restaurants are offering only delivery, drive through or curbside pickup. Lists of these restaurants can be found on the Washington County Area Chamber of Commerce …and the Missouri Valley Chamber of Commerce facebook pages. Additionally, you can get a movie from the Blair Public Library and Technology Center – Call ahead and pick it up at the library’s drive through window on the east side of the building.

32 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Nebraska according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The recent additions include a Sarpy county man in his 40’s who is hospitalized, A Lincoln County woman in her 40’s who recently traveled to Colorado, a Lincoln county man in his 20’s that was in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, and a Nemaha County man in his 60’s who also recently traveled to Colorado. The later is isolated at home. The remainder of the cases are centered in the Metro Areas of Omaha and Lincoln.

44 confirmed cases in Iowa, among those, one in Harrison County, the other in Pottawattamie County. Details on specific cases are not available from the Iowa Department of Public Health department at this time.

City of Blair offices, the Library and Police Department offices will be closed to the public except by appointment. Staff will still be working. The Blair Library does have drive through capabilities, you can call ahead and library staff will have materials ready for you at the drive through.

Joining other government agencies in attempts to slow down the spread of Covid-19, the Harrison County Court House is closed to the public, the court house is staffed and will answer phone calls, but a drop box at the court house west entrance will be used for payments. Missouri Valley City Hall is closed to the public as well. Staff are still working, but Mo Valley citizens will be able to pay bills through a drop box or curbside pick up. Residents are encouraged to call City Hall if there are questions.

The same protocol is in place now for the City of Tekamah.

The Citizen’s Police Academy conducted by the Blair Police Department has been postponed.

- Reported by Connie Green.

For more coverage of the Coronavirus and local community response, including news from Connie Green and guest host interviews with Kelly Johnson, click here.



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