Covid-19 Health Measures

Monday, June 15 Governor Pete Ricketts announced the next steps in the State’s phased plan to loosen restrictions that have been in place during the coronavirus pandemic. The new directed health measures (DHMs), easing restrictions on businesses and activities, will take effect June 22,.

Most counties in Nebraska (89 out of 93) will move to “Phase 3” of the reopening on June 22nd. Dakota, Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties will move to “Phase 2.”

Felicia Quintana-Zinn, deputy director for the Division of Public Health of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), also participated in the press conference. She overviewed the State’s plan, developed in conjunction with partner associations and local health departments, to help long-term care (LTC) facilities safely move toward more normal operations.

Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt also joined the Governor at this briefing. He stated that NDE expects schools to resume instruction this fall with students in the classroom.

Gov. Ricketts: Directed Health Measures

• We first implemented Directed Health Measures back in March to help slow the spread of the virus.

• We’ve successfully slowed the spread. Now, we’re taking a step-by-step approach to loosen restrictions, while still making sure our healthcare system is stable.

• On May 4, we began Phase 1 of our reopening plan in some counties. On June 1, most counties entered Phase 2. We’re announcing that 89 of the state’s 93 counties will proceed to Phase 3 on June 22. The remaining counties—Dakota, Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick—will move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 on June 22.

• We’re also announcing the content of the Phase 4 Directed Health Measures. We’ve not yet set a date for these to take effect. However, we wanted to provide the Phase four rules so that counties know what to expect as we move forward.

The out line of Phase III with statewide changes are:


• Fan attendance for youth and school games changes to same limit as gatherings on June 22.

• No longer limited to household members only.

• Contact team sports may begin practices and games on July 1.

Elective Surgeries

• All restrictions on elective surgeries are removed from DHM starting June 22.

• Starting June 22nd, the following guidelines apply to all counties except for those located in Central District Health Dept. Hall, Hamilton, Merrick and Dakota County Health Dept. Dakota.

Bars & Restaurants

• Restaurants, Bars, Bottle Clubs, and Gentlemen’s Clubs remain open for dine-in.

• Patrons will be required to be seated while on premise unless they are placing an order, using the restroom or playing games.

• 100% of rated occupancy.

• Maximum of eight (8) individuals in a party (groups larger than eight will need to split into multiple tables.

• Food maybe consumed at bar seating.

• Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals.

• Games such as pool, darts, arcade games, etc. are allowed.

Childcare Facilities

• Capacity will be limited to the following numbers:

• Infants to 3 year old – 15 children per room/space

• 3 year olds – 20 children per room/space

• 4-5 year olds – 24 children per room/space

• School-age children (K-12) – 30 children per room/space

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


• Indoor Gatherings will be limited to 50% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 10,000).

• Outdoor Gatherings will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy not to exceed 10,000.

Gatherings include but are not limited to indoor or outdoor arenas, indoor or outdoor auctions, stadiums, tracks, fairgrounds, festivals, zoos, auditoriums, large event conference rooms, meeting halls, indoor theaters, libraries, swimming pools or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.

• Groups shall be no larger than eight individuals.

• Six feet separation between groups moves to guidance.

• Parades, carnivals, midways, dances and street dances, and beer gardens remain prohibited through Phase III.

• Parades where patrons remain in their vehicles and the public does not line the streets are permitted.

• Dancing at events is permissible if individuals remain at their tables/seats and keep social distancing between groups.

• Dance recitals are permitted but must follow the gathering requirements.

• Plans for reopening or expanding to new capacity limits must be submitted to the local health departments and approved for all indoor and outdoor locations/venues that hold 500 or more individuals (1,000 or more in counties over 500,000 population) before reopening is permitted. The reopening plan must contain planned number of guests, how the location will meet social distancing guidelines, and sanitation guidelines.

Gyms, Fitness Centers/Clubs, Health Clubs, & Health Spas

• Will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy.

Salons, Barber Shops, Massage Therapy Services, & Tattoo

Parlors/Body Art Facilities

• Will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy.

• Both workers and patrons are still required in the DHM to wear masks at all times.

• An exception will be made for all services performed on faces. Patrons will be permitted to remove their mask while receiving services directly. The mask must be worn by the patron at all other times while on the premise.

Wedding & Funeral Reception Venues

• Maximum of eight individuals in a party groups larger than eight will need to split into multiple tables.

• Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals.

• Limited dances or other social events requiring guests to gather outside of their respective tables in guidance.


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