State Pilot Program Offers Assistance to First Responders, Aims Reduce Spread


LINCOLN – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is rolling out a pilot program to assist the first responders such as health care workers, EMS, law enforcement and corrections officers deal with potential exposure to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The concern of these workers after finishing their shift is whether they could potentially expose loved ones to the virus unintentionally because of the daily requirements of the job.

This program will aid in reducing spread as these individuals will be afforded accommodations to quarantine at participating hotels in an effort to protect their families from exposure. Should a first responder begin showing signs of COVID-19 they will be able to self-isolate and receive appropriate care if needed. Accommodations are for those frontline employees who cannot quarantine at home or cohabitate with someone who is deemed high-risk.

Interested individuals may call (833) 220-0018 to request a room. This line will be staffed from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week. Messages left on the after-hours voicemail will be returned the following day. Turnaround time for a site placement will not be immediate, but will be within 24 hours. These sites are not open to the general public. Lancaster County workers must coordinate directly with their employer.

Upon arrival, individuals checking-in will be asked to present their employee ID to verify their registration.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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