Governor Ricketts Expands Covid-19 Health Measures – Entire State

Governor Ricketts Expands Covid-19 Health Measures – Entire State

Governor Pete Ricketts announced the State’s ninth COVID-19 related Directed Health Measure (DHM), which adds the remaining counties not already under one.  The DHM will be in effect beginning Friday, April 3rd at 10:00pm and will last until May 11th unless renewed.

“Now that we have seen community spread across the state, the State is applying directed health measures for all 93 counties until May 11th,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The next several weeks will be key to slowing the spread of the virus in Nebraska.  We are asking Nebraskans to further limit social interactions, work, go home, and shop once a week.”

State-Issued DHM Provisions (Apply Statewide)

  • Imposes an enforceable, 10-person limit on public gatherings.
  • Prohibits medical and dental elective surgeries and procedures.
  • Requires schools (public, private, and parochial) to operate without students through May 31, 2020.
  • Cancels all school-related extracurricular activities through May 31, 2020.
  • Requires restaurants and bars to close their dining areas and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only.
  • Requires individuals to home quarantine for at least 14 days if:
    • They have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • They have a fever of 100.4° F or above
    • They have experienced sudden onset of a cough and/or shortness of breath
    • They reside or have resided with individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have the above symptoms.
      • NOTE: The quarantine requirement excludes those individuals with seasonal allergies, COPD, or other diagnoses that may produce respiratory symptoms.  Additionally, the directive doesn’t apply to patients who have an alternative non-COVID-19 diagnosis from a healthcare provider.  These patients should follow the treatment and guidance provided by their healthcare provider for such conditions.
    • Some individuals in home quarantine may not experience the onset of symptoms until the latter half of their 14-day quarantine period.  In this case, the length of their quarantine may exceed 14 days.  Individuals should remain in quarantine until 7 days have passed since onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved, and they have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • The DHM’s limitation on public gatherings does not apply to:
    • Retail or grocery stores where people should maintain six feet of distance from one another.
    • Daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor’s executive order regarding childcare, which you can access by clicking here.
    • Other locations detailed in the DHM.

Locally Issued DHMs (Apply Only to Particular LHDs)

  • In addition to the State-issued DHM, some Local Health Departments (LHDs) have issued additional restrictions.
  • For example, the Central District, Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy/Cass, and Two Rivers LHDs have closed salons, tattoo parlors, and other similar businesses in their jurisdictions for the time being.

Who does the State’s Directed Health Measure apply to?

It applies to places such as theaters, churches, houses of worship, gyms, social clubs, salons, and social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and athletic events.  This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM applies to.

Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant?

At bars and restaurants, it applies to patrons, not to your workforce.  Restaurants and bars are encouraged to ask their patrons if they can prepare their order for takeout upon arrival.  Restaurants will play a key part in feeding people throughout the pandemic.

Do I need to shut down my daycare?

No.  DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow.  You can find it by clicking here.

Do I need to shut down my office?

No.  The Directed Health Measure does not apply to places such as office buildings, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, court houses, court rooms, banks, car dealerships, auto repair shops, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, small shops, golf courses, big box stores, gas stations, convenience stores, shopping malls, manufacturing facilities, packing facilities, construction jobs, and other traditional office settings.  This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM does not apply to.

Furthermore, we do not expect these facilities to be impacted by additional limits at this time.

Do I need to cancel a wedding or a funeral?

Weddings and funerals are also subject to the 10-person limit.  Event planners and facilities are encouraged to be flexible with people who are rearranging their plans.