Severity: Warning Alert       

Transportation: Officials in Nebraska, US, to ease COVID-19 restrictions in several counties, Sept. 11. Other restrictions remain unchanged.

Alert Begins 08 Sep 2020 09:24 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nebraska (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Likely business disruptions

Authorities in Nebraska plan to ease restrictions in 12 additional counties as part of the state's response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while maintaining restrictions unchanged in the rest of the state. Effective Sept. 11, Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties will enter Phase 4 of the state's economic recovery plan. The move will see a total of 39 of the state's 93 counties under Phase 4; other jurisdictions already at that phase of the Nebraska's recovery plan are: Antelope, Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Chase, Cherry, Custer, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Garfield, Greeley, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Keith, Keya Paha, Knox, Loup, Perkins, Pierce, Red Willow, Rock, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler counties.

Under Phase 4, most business restrictions are lifted. Bars, restaurants, personal care businesses, gyms, places of worship, and childcare facilities may operate without capacity limits. Nevertheless, certain limitations on the size of indoor gatherings will remain in effect. Counties will remain on Phase 4 through at least Sept. 30.

All other counties in Nebraska will stay under Phase 3 until at least Sept. 13, with existing restrictions remaining unchanged. Under Phase 3, the following measures apply:


  • Indoor gatherings at venues must be limited to 50-percent capacity, and outdoor gatherings to 75-percent capacity, never exceeding 10,000 people and ensuring social distancing. However, parades, carnivals, and dances remain banned.


  • Restaurants, bars, and other food establishments may open without capacity limits.


  • Gyms, fitness centers, and spas may open at 75-percent capacity.


  • Personal care businesses may open at 75-percent capacity; employees and customers must wear protective face coverings.


Statewide, spectators may attend youth and school sports events, to the extent restrictions on the size of gatherings allow. All businesses that reopen must comply with specific mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing guidelines, enhanced sanitation procedures, and the use of protective equipment, among other things. Essential businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, fuel stations, and companies in the transport, media, security, energy, and critical manufacturing sectors, are allowed to remain open.

Travelers entering Nebraska from international destinations are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor their health.

Officials could extend or otherwise amend the orders with little-to-no advance notice depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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