LINCOLN, Neb. — As Nebraska faces a surge in COVID-19 cases, crowds and community interaction remain two areas of concern, as highlighted by a University of Nebraska Medical Center press conference last week. Governor Pete Ricketts addressed two major events fitting those categories in a press conference Wednesday—Halloween and the Nebraska football watch site at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Oct. 24.

"You know what, just like everything else this pandemic, I believe we can have Halloween and kids can go trick-or-treating and we're going to have to manage that,” Ricketts said. “We've had conversations with our public health directors, and I know that they're working on some recommendations with regard to how to do this and still mitigate and slow the spread of the virus.

Ricketts suggested alternative options, including leaving individual packages of candy on doorsteps.

"I think there are ways that we can have Halloween and still do in a way that we can slow the spread of the virus and keep that six-feet of distance and so forth," he said. "We can do this but we have to manage it, it can't be like it was in the past."

When asked about the Pinnacle Bank Arena, Gov. Ricketts did not address the specific event, but large crowds in general.

“We’re looking at the data we have from our contact tracing. And in general, when tracking the virus, there’s not a specific metric that jumps out like big crowd sizes. We’re going to continue monitoring the data and make changes as necessary.”