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Governer announces changes to DHMs

Updates effective May 4


April 30, 2020

Ten district health department areas across the state, including North Central District Health Department, which includes Antelope and Holt counties, will have changes to restrictions on social gatherings and business operations, beginning May 4.

Governor Pete Ricketts announced upcoming changes to Directed Health Measures across the state during an April 24 press conference.

The current state DHMs for Douglas County will be extended through May 3. Local DHMs from the Sarpy/Cass Health Department and the Douglas County Health Department will also be extended through May 3.

The statewide closure until April 30 of all beauty/nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, gentleman’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theaters, indoor theaters and tattoo parlors/studios is extended to May 3.

That date will be extended further for some areas.

A statewide change to worship guidelines will be in place. Six feet of separation between different household units will need to be in place. Items will not be passed among worshipers. A guidance document will be provided to faith communities, explaining how to comply with the new measures.

Regional updates will go into effect May 4 for NCDHD, along with Douglas County Health Department, Sarpy/Cass Department of Health, East Central District Health Department, Four Corners Health Department, Loup Basin Public Health Department, Northeast Nebraska District Health Department, Panhandle Public Health District, Southeast District Health Department and Southwest Nebraska Public Health District.

Business included in the regional DHMs are:

Salons: As of May 4, beauty/nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services and tattoo parlors/studios will be permitted to open. Establishments will be added to the list of gatherings subject to the 10-person rule.

Workers and patrons will be required to wear marks.

Restaurants: Restaurants will be allowed to serve dine-in customers if all of the following conditions are met:

• Seating is limited to 50% of the rated occupancy maximum at all times.

• Parties are seated at least six feet apart.

• Dining parties are restricted to no more than six persons. Groups larger than six will need to sit at separate tables.

• Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Restaurant staff must serve food directly to customers or implement buffet orders from the customer table. No customer self-service will be allowed.

• Bar seating is not permitted.

• Patrons may only consume alcohol on the premises if also consuming a meal.

Bars that do not serve food will remain limited to carry-out sales and delivery only.

Childcare facilities: Up to 15 kids per room/space will be permitted.

• All other state provisions, statutes and regulations, including child-to-staff ratio, still apply.

Other establishments, including bars, gentlemen’s clubs and bottle clubs will remain closed statewide until May 31.

Ricketts said the DHM for these establishments may be revised prior to that date.

“I want to emphasize how important it is to continue following our six rules during the rest of the ‘21 days to stay home and stay healthy’ campaign,” Ricketts said. “Regardless of these changes, we will still be doing some level of social distancing until we have a vaccine. Just because we are able to relax some measures does not mean life returns to normal. We will continue to protect our healthcare system so that Nebraskans can receive the treatment they need if they come infected with coronavirus.”

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services chief executive officer, Dannette R. Smith, said the Test Nebraska plan has three steps: assess, test and track.

“Contract tracing makes sure we’re being proactive in monitoring and supporting individuals with potential infection from COVID-19. We want to immediately assess those individuals and track their contacts so that we can quarantine those persons at high risk of exposure.

Ricketts challenged DHHS to mobilize 1,000 people to help with contact tracing.

Smith said 325 TeamMates from DHHS will assist and 225 of them will be trained by state epidemiologist between April 27 and May 5.

“As they track the spread of the virus, team mates will gather real-time data to guide our public health strategies,” Smith said.


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