Ricketts: New stricter DHMs will take effect on Wednesday

Limits on churches, businesses and gatherings
Posted at 10:04 AM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 04:49:07-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced new restrictions requiring masks in some circumstances to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but he still rejects the idea of a statewide mask mandate.

Ricketts said Monday that masks will be required at businesses where employees have close contact with customers for more than 15 minutes, such as salons and massage parlors. At bars, masks will be required when people aren’t drinking or eating.

The state set another record Sunday when 794 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, a more than doubling of virus-related hospitalizations in three weeks.

Infectious disease expert Dr. James Lawler of the University of Nebraska Medical Center says more needs to be done to avoid turmoil within the hospital systems.

"In three weeks time our hospitals will be overwhelmed and we will no longer be able to deliver optimal and effective care for COVID and we will also no longer be able to deliver appropriate care for everyone who comes in with a heart attack or a stroke," he said.

The new DHM limits capacity at indoor establishments like movie theaters, but not restaurants and bars.

"Unfortunately, those DHMs that were announced today are grossly insufficient to slow down transmission rates in the community and those are not going to dramatically deflect the curve," Dr. Lawler said.

Gov. Ricketts says he will continue evaluating the DHM to see what more can be done in the weeks to come.

Full list of the new DHM guidlines:

  • Six (6) Feet Separation Rule and Masking
    • Six (6) feet of separation between parties is required in all instances; includes, gyms/fitness centers, health spas, restaurants, bars, gentlemen and bottle clubs, weddings, funerals, indoor gatherings, and churches.
      • For churches, weddings, and funerals, parties are considered household members only.
    • Masks are required for staff and patrons at salons, barbershops, massage therapy, bowling alleys, pool halls, body art establishments, and any other indoor businesses where staff and patrons are within six (6) feet of each other for 15 minutes or more.
    • Bar patrons who are participating in games such as pool, darts, shuffleboard, etc. are required to wear a mask when not drinking or eating.
  • Extracurricular Activities
    • Fan attendance for all indoor youth extracurricular activities is limited to household members of participants only.
      • Extracurricular activities include both school and club sponsored events.
    • Six (6) feet of separation required between household units.
  • 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, but six (6) feet of separation required between tables.
      • Bar seating is permitted but six (6) feet of separation must be maintained between parties.
    • Maximum of eight (8) individuals in a party (groups larger than eight (8) will need to split into multiple tables).
    • Self-serve buffets and salad bars are permitted.
  • Churches & Places of Worship
    • No limit on occupancy but must maintain six (6) feet of separation between household units.
  • Gatherings
    • INDOOR gatherings will be limited to 25% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 10,000).
    • OUTDOOR gatherings remains at 100% of rated occupancy.
    • 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 (8) individuals.
    • Six (6) feet separation between groups required.
    • Carnivals and dances held indoors are prohibited.
      • Dancing at wedding receptions 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
    • Six (6) feet of separation between customers is required.
  • Salons, Barber Shops, Massage Therapy Services, & Tattoo Parlors/Body Art Facilities
    • Six (6) feet of separation between customers is required.
    • Both workers and patrons are required 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 (8) individuals in a party (groups larger than eight (8) will need to split into multiple tables).
    • Dancing at events is permissible if individuals remain at their tables/seats and keep social distancing between groups.

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