We activated our COVID Advisory Board in March 2020. Since then, we’ve worked closely with the Douglas County Health Department, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and many other local partners and leaders to make the best decisions for the safety and well-being of our residents and community.
From March until now, I’ve held over 25 news conferences with Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour to keep you informed about how COVID was impacting our community and steps we must all take to keep our community as safe as possible.
Our unemployment rate has dropped below 3.5% after jumping to over 9% last summer, but too many people are now underemployed or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. In 2021 and beyond, we will continue expanding support for job training programs and work transition efforts.
We know our restaurants and small businesses have been seriously damaged by the pandemic, and to provide some relief, we waived all late fees on the city restaurant tax from March through December, 2020. I was delighted when we were able to provide a gift to the Food Bank of over $105,000, money from swimming pool admission fees, made possible by private donor support.