LINCOLN-(KFOR Apr. 1)-Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order Wednesday to allow online notary services to take place immediately and to provide regulatory flexibility to banks.  He also talked about the critical need for Nebraskans to practice social distancing in April.

Gov. Ricketts’ Comments on the Executive Order

“Many real estate, mortgage, insurance, and banking financial documents require notarized signatures to validate them,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Online notary services use audio/visual and automated software to verify the identity of the person who needs to obtain a notarized signature.”

Director Quandahl’s Comments on the Executive Order

Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, Mark Quandahl, joined the Governor to talk about the much-needed regulatory flexibility included in the Governor’s executive order.

“The Department of Banking and Finance requires banks and credit unions to file reports within 90 days of their formal financial examinations,” said Quandahl. “To help financial institutions adhere to social distancing requirements, these deadlines are being waived until 30 days after the lifting of the coronavirus 2019 emergency.”

Quandahl also noted that companies licensed under the Installment Loan Act that must have their books and records examined by the Department of Banking and Finance will have the requirements for these examinations to take place within one calendar year waived.

He added that the executive order authorizes electronic versions of these documents to be submitted and allows associated payments to be made via check or electronic ACH debit transactions.  These changes are effective until 30 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Director Siefken’s Health Tips for Shoppers

Kathy Siefken, Executive Director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, also took part in Wednesday’s press conference.  She reinforced the importance of social distancing while shopping for groceries and gave advice to shoppers.

Siefken advised that if a store appears busy or crowded to delay shopping until a later time. She also suggested shopping alone and warned against running errands with others.

“Shop with your eyes. Only touch products that you intend to purchase,” said Siefken. “Maintain a minimum distance of six feet from other customers and store workers whenever possible.”

She added that the supply chain works best when people do not hoard food. She suggested buying a week’s worth of food at a time.

The Governor’s Health Reminders

The Governor also reminded Nebraskans of social distancing guidelines and of the need to practice good hygiene.

He reminded residents to practice social distancing by keeping six feet from others. “This applies in the workplace, when exercising outdoors, or when running errands,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Don’t shop if you don’t feel well. Whenever possible, shop online for curbside pickup or home delivery.”

Other Comments from Gov. Ricketts on COVID-19

  • Companies with spare masks are encouraged to donate them to hospitals, medical clinics, or first responders.
  • The State’s guidance is that out-of-state travelers should self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Nebraska.
  • The State of Nebraska is hiring, including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the State’s veterans’ homes.
  • Nebraskans can visit the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s website nda.nebraska.gov for guidance on livestock gatherings taking place during the coronavirus emergency.

Full video of today’s press briefing is available by clicking here.

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