Governor Pete Ricketts Updates Directed Health Measures Starting May 4; Different Services and Industries Will Re-Open, Under Certain Guidelines

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

LINCOLN – As the state of Nebraska is getting closer to the first round of Directed Health Measures expiring, Governor Pete Ricketts announced what the next state wide DHMs will look like in the month of May. Starting on May 4, elective surgeries will be able to be performed but if the hospital meets certain guidelines.

Those elective surgeries will be based upon the hospital having 30 percent capacity in their hospital beds, 30 percent capacity in their ICU beds, 30 percent capacity for their ventilators, and 2 weeks worth of PPE on hand. 

Church services, weddings, and funerals will be allowed and not subject to the ten person rule, but there will be guidelines that will be published when we get closer to May 4.

Broadly speaking what it’ll involve, is that households will be able to sit together but still have to be six feet apart from other households. There will also be rules with regard to there’s no passing of things between congregates, there will be rules about how you would set up, for example, a communion line. Sanitizing the pews, and everything, between services. 

Restaurants will also be able to dine in again but there are guidelines for that as well. 

Up to 50 percent capacity of what they’re rated for. Subject to the six foot rule between tables. They’ll have a maximum of six people per party. And there’ll be other guidelines coming out from the restaurant association about how that will work. For example, in the guidelines it will have that all staff has to be wearing masks.

Restaurants will also not be allowed to open their bars and patrons cannot self serve at buffets. The dine-in rule will only apply to certain health districts, not the entire state. 

Douglas County Health Department, the Sarpy, Cass Department of Health and Wellness, but also East Central District Health Department, Four Corners Health Department, Loup Basin Public Health Department, North Central District Public Health Department, Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, Panhandle Public Health District, Southeast District Health Department, Southwest Nebraska Public Health District. 

In those same health districts daycares will be able to go up to 15 kids per room. Salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and massage therapists will be able to reopen as well. They will also have to wear masks, along with the patrons. Bars, theaters, and gentlemens and bottle cap clubs will remain closed. These rules will be in effect until May 31.

The state will also be putting more resources into contact tracing. Specifically in Hall and Dawson Counties. The state also announced just over $3.9 million dollars in grants to help local, state, and tribal law enforcement to aid in their response to the pandemic. Those agencies will have to apply for the grants.

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