Severity: Warning Alert
Transportation: Officials in Nebraska, US, ease restrictions in multiple counties Aug. 1. Restrictions unchanged in the rest of the state due to COVID-19.
- Alert Begins: 30 Jul 2020 07:22 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 18 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nebraska (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business disruptions likely
Authorities in Nebraska have issued orders to ease restrictions in multiple counties starting Aug. 1, while extending current restrictions in 66 of the state's 93 counties through Aug. 31. The measures are part of the state's response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Starting Aug. 1, 18 counties will move into Phase 4 of the state's economic recovery plan, joining another nine counties that have been in Phase 4 since July 24. Under Phase 4, most business restrictions are lifted. Gatherings in indoor venues must be limited to 75-percent capacity. However, any event that intends to host more than 500 individuals (or 1,000 in counties with more than 500,000 residents) must request approval from local authorities. Bars, restaurants, personal care businesses, gyms, places of worship, and childcare facilities may operate without capacity limits.
As of Aug. 1, the counties on Phase 4 will be:
- Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins, Red Willow, Antelope, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Keya Paha, Knox, Pierce, Rock, Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler
The rest of the state will maintain its current restrictions unchanged until Aug. 31, remaining on Phase 3 of Nebraska's economic recovery plan. Under Phase 3, the following measures apply:
- Indoor gatherings at venues must be limited at 50-percent capacity, and outdoor gatherings to 75-percent capacity, never exceeding 10,000 people and ensuring social distancing measures. 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; workers and customers must wear protective face coverings.
Statewide, fan attendance for youth and school sports is allowed, following the gathering limits. 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 necessary protective equipment, among other guidelines. 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.