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The Antelope

The Antelope COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 UNK Status

STATUS: Classes are all online and faculty/staff must work from home. This includes student workers.


KEARNEY – Twenty nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday by Two Rivers Public Health Department, pushing the total to 343 in the seven-county region it serves.

New confirmed cases include:

· Fifty six adults in Dawson County

· Two pediatric cases in Dawson County

· Ten adults in Buffalo County

· One pediatric case in Buffalo County

· One adult in Gosper County

No other new cases were reported in the Two Rivers district.

Total cases to date in the district’s seven counties are:

Dawson County – 255

Buffalo County – 72

Gosper County – 8

Kearney County – 4

Franklin County –3

Phelps County – 1

Harlan County – 0


Calling the University of Nebraska’s commitment to accessibility more important than ever during difficult economic times, President Ted Carter today unveiled a new program that will guarantee a tuition-free NU education to Nebraska students with family incomes of $60,000 or less.

The “Nebraska Promise” will take effect in fall 2020 and will guarantee that full-time resident undergraduates whose families have an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less or who qualify for the federal Pell Grant can attend any NU campus and pay no tuition. The Nebraska Promise will apply to returning, transfer and new students, both on-campus and online, and requires no separate application beyond the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“Accessibility for the people of Nebraska has been core to the mission of our University for more than 150 years,” Carter said in announcing the Nebraska Promise at today’s Board of Regents meeting. Access and affordability have been key priorities for the students, faculty and staff of the university-wide strategic planning team charged with helping Carter chart a path forward for the NU system.

“Today we’re doubling down on that promise,” said Carter, who began as NU’s eighth president in January. “We understand that in these uncertain times, many Nebraskans are rethinking every dollar. We want students and families to know that their University is here for them, that we want them as part of our family, and that we’re doing everything we can to keep the promise of a college education within reach, no matter what their circumstance.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts said: “The Nebraska Promise will help more of our young people afford college, graduate on time and get a great-paying job here in our state. I’m pleased to see the University taking this important step to keep costs down for Nebraskans, especially at a time when all of us are tightening our belts.”

Carter praised the university’s campus financial aid directors for their leadership and commitment to student access. With their help, Carter and the chancellors are continuing to explore opportunities to expand affordability.

The university’s tuition rates – the lowest in the Big Ten and well below peer averages on all campuses – are highly competitive, and NU students graduate, on average, with less debt than their peers. About 75 percent of University of Nebraska undergraduates receive financial aid. Yet the global economic pain being caused by COVID-19 calls for an even broader effort to limit costs for NU’s 51,000 students as well as future generations of students, Carter said. That will include a continued focus on student access, success and well-being.

“Even as we manage the challenge before us, the role of the University of Nebraska in providing a world-class education to students and meeting the economic needs of our state is as important now as ever,” Carter said. “We’re here to take care of Nebraskans. The Nebraska Promise is one more way for us to do that.”

The university’s existing need-based financial aid program, Collegebound Nebraska, guarantees tuition-free education for qualifying Pell-eligible Nebraska students. Nearly 3,000 students currently attend NU tuition-free under Collegebound Nebraska.

The expanded Nebraska Promise would cover approximately 1,000 additional current and future NU students. University leaders hope the program will attract Nebraskans who may not have thought they could afford a university education.

“The Nebraska Promise will create opportunities for more students than ever,” said Board of Regents Chairman Jim Pillen of Columbus. “That’s extra special in light of today’s circumstances. I’m so proud of our university for giving hope to Nebraskans.”

Nebraska policymakers expressed support for the program. Carter thanked elected leaders for their recognition of the importance of affordable, excellent higher education for the state.

“The Nebraska Promise is a remarkable commitment to the people of our state,” said Sen. John Stinner of Gering, chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. “At a time when many families in my district and across Nebraska are struggling, the university is making a promise that the doors of higher education will remain open to every young person who is qualified to attend. Even in challenging times, we have to think about the long term, and I believe the Nebraska Promise is a pivotal decision that will help our state thrive in the future.”

Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha said: “Increasing equity and access to higher education for young Nebraskans is a personal passion of mine. Challenging economic times only add to the urgency of making sure that every student, regardless of socioeconomic status, has the opportunity to succeed. The Nebraska Promise is a simple and powerful message: If you are in need, the university is here for you. Thank you to our university for going another step further to ensure access for every talented young Nebraskan.”

Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln said: “This is wonderful news at a difficult time for so many Nebraskans. I could not be prouder of our university for its care and compassion for students and families across our state. We continue to need efforts like Nebraska Promise to achieve college affordability, retain young people in our state, and grow our economy.”

The Nebraska Promise aligns with the mission of each NU campus and will send a strong message to current and potential students, according to the chancellors.

“President Carter cares deeply for the university and the state, and he shows how the university can be bold in challenging times,” said University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “This promise to Nebraska will change lives by making a university degree more affordable. Investing in students benefits all Nebraskans, and this news comes at the critical enrollment decision time to remind families that an affordable, quality bachelor’s degree is attainable, right here, and now.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green said: “I love the clarity of this promise for access to Nebraska’s families and future leaders. If your family income is $60,000 or less, you can excel at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln tuition-free. This takes away the guessing game for many families and provides a clear path for a college degree at our Big Ten university.”

Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center, said: “Access is at the heart of the missions of both UNO and UNMC. Cost should not be a limiting factor for any Nebraska student who wants to change their life with a degree from one of our campuses. The Nebraska Promise further solidifies that commitment. I’m so pleased that we are doing everything in our power to welcome students to our campuses and help them complete their academic journeys.”

To be eligible for full tuition coverage under the Nebraska Promise, students must take at least 12 credit hours per semester and maintain a 2.5 grade point average. The Nebraska Promise will cover up to 30 credit hours per academic year. The program does not cover costs beyond tuition like fees, books, or room and board; each NU campus, however, offers numerous financial aid opportunities for students to help them cover the costs of their education.

The university has extended this year’s priority FAFSA deadline to June 1 to provide additional flexibility for students and families.

Detailed information on the Nebraska Promise program is available in both English and Spanish at

Carter urged students and families to contact University of Nebraska campuses for assistance with admissions and financial aid:


Kearney – Two Rivers Public Health Department is reporting one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total district case number to 27. This individuals is a male in his 20s who is isolating at home in Buffalo County. TRPHD is completing further investigation into this case.


F Johnson Building, Lower Level conference room
701 4th Ave, Holdrege, NE
VIRTUAL connection encouraged (see below):
Meeting ID: 874 797 624
Password: 12345678
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020, Meeting starts 6:00 PM

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Introductions | Acknowledgements
  3. Approval of Agenda
  4. Approval of Minutes from March 17, 2020 meeting
  5. Director’s Report
  6. Old Business
  7. New Business
    a. Recommendation to approve signing and promotion of SALBOH letter
    b. Recommendation to ratify executive committee actions (April 4, 2020)
    c. Recommendation to approve revised procurement policy
    d. Recommendation to approve January and February 2019 financial report
    e. Appointment of Board Secretary (Executive committee member)
    f. Recommendation to approve lease for expanded Kearney Office location at:
    a. 3715 29th Ave, Kearney, NE
  8. Public Comment
    a Board comment
    b Employee comment
    c Public comment
  9. Adjournment
    a Up and coming meetings
    i Next Board Meeting: TBD


Kearney- Two Rivers Public Health Department is reporting five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total district case number to 23. All individuals are isolating at home, with the exception of the Buffalo County male in his 60s who is hospitalized. The individuals are as follows:

· A female resident of Phelps County in her 30s

· A male resident of Kearney County in his 20s

· Three residents of Buffalo County

A male in his 40s
A male in his 60s
A female in her 20s


Kearney, NE- Two Rivers Public Health Department is reporting four additional cases of COVID-19 in Buffalo County.  Three cases are females (one in her 20s, and two in their 40s). The fourth is a male in his 60s.  All are isolating at home.The health department will begin daily press releases starting Saturday April 4th to apprise our district of the case number. DHHS will continue daily updates to Nebraska’s case via its new Data Dashboard at


Kearney – Two new case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were identified in Buffalo County. One is a direct contact of a previous case. The investigation for the second case is ongoing at this time. This brings the district total of 11 cases broken down as follows: 8 in Buffalo County, 1 in Kearney County, 1 in Gosper County, and 1 in Dawson County.

Two Rivers Public Health Department is reporting a previously reported case of COVID-19 is in a worker at the YRTC-Kearney facility. The individual contacted the facility as per DHHS guidance to make them aware of his symptoms and has not returned to work.   TRPHD in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services is conducting a contact investigation.


UNK May commencement combined with July exercises
     KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced today that a combined commencement for both spring and summer 2020 graduates will occur at UNK Health and Sports Center on July 31.     With a scheduled May 8 commencement for spring graduates and uncertainty over allowed crowd sizes, combining spring and summer exercises enables maximum opportunity for graduates who are able to join in a celebration ceremony and walk across the stage.     All May 2020 graduates will be listed in a traditional commencement program that will be downloadable and posted on a special commencement website, and also mailed to the graduates – along with their diploma.     “College commencement is one of the greatest moments in a person’s life. We need to honor that moment for our UNK graduates and the family and loved ones who supported our graduates on their academic path,” UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen said. “It’s also a tremendous moment for our faculty and staff to be recognized for the contributions they’ve made to these students’ individual success.”     UNK Communications and Marketing plans to develop photo, video and social media content featuring the May graduates for sharing on websites and social media channels.May undergraduate Honors students, who with their families are hosted at a breakfast with the chancellor and deans, will be invited to a summer special Honors breakfast prior to the July 31 ceremony.     Earlier in March all large gatherings for the next months began to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.     May and July graduates can get direct access to information about the ceremony and how to report their planned participation by visiting the website Spring 2020 Graduation Candidate FAQsWhen is the commencement ceremony?The Spring 2020 commencement ceremony will be combined with the Summer 2020 ceremony and will take place on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in the Health and Sports Center. What if I already bought my cap and gown for the Spring 2020 ceremony?Spring 2020 graduates who plan to participate in the Summer 2020 ceremony should keep your cap and gown to participate in the Summer 2020 ceremony. Spring 2020 graduates who do not plan to participate in the Summer 2020 ceremony may return their cap and gown. To do so, leave the gown in the bag unused and Herff Jones will refund your purchase up until the original ceremony date of May 8, 2020. If you choose to return your cap and gown (including tassel, and/or hood), you can do so by following the link to the College Regalia Returns page For additional information, please contact the Herff Jones customer service team at 1-800-837-4235. If the spring and summer ceremonies are in July, will I still graduate in May?Yes, your degree will be awarded in the same timeframe that is typical for spring graduation. Your degree will be posted on your transcript approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the spring semester. All degree requirements must be complete and campus holds must be released in order for your degree to be awarded. When will I receive my diploma?Your diploma will be mailed approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the spring semester. If your diploma address has changed from what is currently listed on MyBLUE, please contact the Office of the University Registrar at to ensure your diploma is sent to the correct address. All degree requirements must be completed and campus holds must be released in order to receive your diploma. How will I know if I have a campus hold?The Office of the University Registrar will email your LoperMail account to inform you of any outstanding campus holds. Campus holds may include holds from Parking, Library, Finance, Perkins loan, or Financial Aid Exit Loan Counseling, Student Health and Counseling, incomplete grades, and transcripts needed from outside institutions. What if I am unable to complete my coursework by the end of the semester?If you receive an incomplete grade that you are unable to complete due to current circumstances, please continue to work with your instructor. If you have additional questions, undergraduate students should contact the Office of the University Registrar at Graduate students should contact Carmen Brewer in the Graduate Office at  How do I order a transcript?Visit our Transcript Request Policies page to find out how to order a paper or electronic transcript. If you place your order before your final grades and/or degree are posted, please be sure to check the boxes for “Hold for final grades” and “Hold for degree.” What if I change my mind about participating in the Summer 2020 ceremony?If your participation plans have changed for the July 31, 2020 ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office at by June 15, 2020. What if I have additional questions about receiving my degree?Undergraduate students should contact the Office of the University Registrar at Graduate students should contact Carmen Brewer in the Graduate Office at


Holdrege, NE — One additional case of COVID-19 has been reported to Two Rivers Public Health Department. This individual is a Buffalo County male in his 50s who has minor symptoms and is currently self-isolated at home. Two Rivers Public Health Department staff are actively monitoring this situation. This person is a family member of the first case.

Holdrege, NE — One additional case of COVID-19 has been reported to Two Rivers Public Health Department. This individual is a Dawson County female in her 40s who has minor symptoms and is currently self-isolated at home. Two Rivers Public Health Department staff are actively monitoring this situation, and have contacted individuals who need to self-isolate at this time. This case is a travel related case, and unrelated to the cases identified in Buffalo County.


Holdrege, NE — Two Rivers Public Health Department has identified the first travel related case of COVID-19 in the district. This individual is a Buffalo County female in her 40s who has minor symptoms and is currently self-isolated at home. Two Rivers Public Health Department staff are actively monitoring this situation.

Local public health staff continue to work closely with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to identify individuals who have been in contact with this individual. Two Rivers Public Health Department have interviewed family members to collect a history of this patient to identify where this individual has spent time.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after an individual is exposed. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at a higher risk for getting this illness. “Please take every day precautions such as avoiding close contact with those who are ill, and preventative actions like washing your hands,” urges Health Director, Jeremy Eschliman.

Performing good health habits can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases in your community. Some steps to take are:

· Stay home if you are sick

· Avoid close contact with those who are sick

· Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available

· Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

There is a statewide COVID-19 information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed: 402-552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. 7 days a week. For more information call Two Rivers Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154 or visit

Follow TRPHD on Facebook and Twitter (@2RPHD)

Two Rivers Public Health Department engages collaborative partners, community leaders, and the public to promote healthy lifestyles, provide preventative education, assure environmental quality, and create more healthy and safe communities for all who live within the district.


KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is taking an additional step to ensure the health of employees and students by asking faculty and staff to work remotely.

Remote work will begin Monday (March 23) and continue until further notice. It also applies to student workers.

While the university remains open, UNK expects managers to develop and implement telework plans for employees, allowing the university to maintain operations while increasing social distancing during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

When possible, employees are expected to work remotely. They will be allowed to work on campus if needed for vital university operations.

“This measure ensures an extra level of protection for our campus community, while also allowing us to maintain critical university operations,” said Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “Some employees need to remain on campus in jobs that cannot be performed at home or that provide services to students.

“This decision helps reduce the campus population, facilitates workplace social distancing and protects the health of employees who can’t work from home.”

Employees are allowed to take equipment with them that is needed to work successfully from a remote location. As a reminder, they should also forward their work phones to their home or cell phones.

UNK, which has 750 full-time and 1,291 part-time employees, may ask some to return to campus to work if in the best interest of the university.

“Supervisors, working with system or campus leadership, will determine which jobs can be performed remotely and which require a presence on campus,” said University of Nebraska President Ted Carter. “This will not be an individual decision, as employee work arrangements are subject to supervisor approval.

“I want to reiterate our goal is to maintain the continuity of our work while also protecting the health and safety of our faculty, and students, along with the community around us.”

Managers will work with their staffs to establish flexible work schedules, conduct meetings using remote technology and maintain workflows. In-person meetings should be limited to those that are mission critical and attended by 10 or fewer people.

“Many university functions can be carried out effectively with little disruption to our operations,” Kristensen said. “We are asking those who have the ability to work remotely to do so.”

Academic operations at UNK transitioned fully to remote learning Wednesday. Students are scheduled for spring break March 23-29.  Residence halls, campus dining and student services will continue operating.

Faculty will continue to work as they are able, making coursework available online, virtual-access, real time or recorded, using an array of remote-delivery tools and resources.

All UNK-sponsored events, both on and off campus, that involve more than 10 people have also been postponed or canceled.

Alternative Worksites Guide for Supervisors and Employees


KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced today new event restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

These restrictions take effect Friday and continue through the end of the spring semester (May 8).

All UNK-sponsored events, both on and off campus, that involve more than 10 people will be postponed or canceled. UNK is also canceling all events hosted for outside groups that involve more than 10 attendees, and no new reservations will be accepted until further notice.

The statuses of the April 9 spring concert featuring Granger Smith and May 8 spring commencement will be announced at a later date.

On Monday, Gov. Pete Ricketts encouraged Nebraskans to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends public events and gatherings be limited to 10 people or fewer.

There have been 21 confirmed or presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in Nebraska, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. None of these cases was in Kearney or Buffalo County.

UNK is shifting from in-person classes to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester. Residence halls, campus dining and student support services will continue operating.

The university is also recommending all business meetings be conducted using remote technology. In-person meetings should be limited to those that are mission critical and attended by 10 or fewer people.

UNK’s emergency operations team meets daily to assess the evolving coronavirus situation and continues to receive up-to-date information from local, state and federal health officials. Event restrictions and other policies will be continuously evaluated as long as coronavirus poses a health risk.

Ongoing coronavirus information and updates will be shared at a specific UNK webpage:

For updates on UNK events, as well as events and activities hosted by organizations using campus facilities, check the following:

To update the status of an event already submitted to the campus calendar, visit:


KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is offering refunds to students who choose to move out of residence halls early because of the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

UNK students who move out for the semester and complete checkout paperwork will receive a 60% prorated refund of room and board costs based on their housing facility and dining plan, effective March 17. The payment is 60% of remaining room and board, and UNK estimates those payments to be between $1,000 and $1,400.

Refunds for Village Flats rent will be handled differently than other residence halls. April rent will be prorated at 60% for residents who choose to leave.

UNK will not refund tuition and student fees because remote instruction is continuing through the remainder of the semester.

Students who do not check out by March 27 will be asked to communicate their plans to residence life. Refunds will then be processed according to the checkout date.

UNK Residence Life is using express checkout to accommodate students.

Students should pick up express checkout information at the front desk of their residence halls to complete checkout paperwork, if they have not already done so. Envelopes are to be returned in the designated mail drop location.

Room and board refunds will be processed by April 15, after room inspections are complete. Students need to sign up for direct deposit on MyBlue under “Student Accounts>Direct Deposit Refunds” so UNK can disperse funds directly to their bank accounts.

For those unable to leave or who have work or other commitments, the residence halls, dining facilities and other student services will remain open.

United Parcel Service and FedEx packages will be returned to the sender for students not currently living on campus. United States Postal Service mail will be forwarded to the permanent address on file. Students with international addresses will have mail returned to sender.

UNK has shifted completely from in-person classes to remote or online courses for the remainder of the semester.

03/16/2020 5:40 P.M.

Chancellor Doug Kristensen pushed the move to online coursework to Wednesday, March 18. This move came in response to rapidly developing Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

The move was made possible by quick transitions across campus.

“The tremendous efforts that have been undertaken by faculty and staff to accommodate this unprecedented disruption to the academic calendar are evidence of the commitment that you all take to create an exceptional learning environment for our students,” Kristensen said. “Further, our students have shown resilience and professionalism in adapting to change. Our campus community has performed exceptionally under these circumstances.”

Some physical learning modes, such as labs or practices, may continue as scheduled if approved by the department chair, the college’s dean and Charles Bicack, the senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

03/12/2020 2:41 P.M.

Amid closings at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, UNK authorities have yet to announce a decision about the state of classes going forward as the coronavirus crisis continues.

On March 12, UNL and UNO both announced that classes are canceled for the week of Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. Spring break will run as scheduled. Classes will resume in an online format on March 30.

Keep checking back to The Antelope for current information as the developments come in.

03/12/2020 2:59 P.M.

Classes will continue through March 20 as scheduled. Spring Break will proceed as planned. After spring break, UNK will suspend in-person classes and move to online classes.

University of Nebraska at Kearney Press Release

By TODD GOTTULA / UNK Communications

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is suspending face-to-face classes beginning March 30 due to immediate concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, Chancellor Doug Kristensen announced Thursday.

Courses at UNK are moving to virtual, online or alternative instruction beginning the first day of classes following spring break. Remote instruction will continue through the end of the spring semester, May 8. Classes will be held on campus next week (March 16-20) as scheduled.

UNK will evaluate the decision on an ongoing basis, monitor the situation and make proper adjustments and modifications to teaching moving forward. All faculty, staff and UNK employees should continue reporting to work unless they are unable.

“The health and well-being of our community is our primary concern, and each decision we make will take that and our students’ needs into account,” Kristensen said. “It’s important that we limit risk and mitigate the spread of this virus.”

UNK is not closing campus buildings. Dining services, health and counseling, academic advising and other student support services will continue. The LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center remains open.

Students will be allowed to stay home or remain living in residence halls, off-campus housing or other locations.

There are no known cases of the novel coronavirus at UNK, in Kearney or within Buffalo County. However, UNK continues to encourage students to practice appropriate social distancing, limit contact and practice good health, regardless of where they are living.

“This is a challenge that we can meet by working together, and by fulfilling our commitment to student learning and experiences, while providing leadership in our community and more broadly in our state and region,” Kristensen said.

Earlier this week Charlie Bicak, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, asked all faculty to develop plans to allow completion of spring semester courses using alternative delivery methods.

“We recognize there will be challenges with certain modes of learning,” Bicak said. “We trust that faculty will select the strategies and tools that work best to accommodate student learning and their teaching styles.”

Those who need assistance with information technology services should contact the IT Services Help Desk at 308.865.8363.

Students, faculty and staff should contact UNK Student Health and Counseling at 308.865.8218 or if they have concerning symptoms or questions about their health. 

UNK leadership teams are continuing to discuss major events, including spring commencement ceremonies and athletic events, and will share any decisions as they are made.

Ongoing information and updates will be shared at a specific UNK webpage:

03/16/2020 2:00 P.M. 

Chancellor Doug Kristensen announced that classes will continue through March 17. Starting on March 18, the University of Nebraska at Kearney will host classes online.

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