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Loosened Directed Health Measures give Omaha-area business owners hope

The new restrictions allow for indoor capacity up to 75%
Posted at 6:09 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 19:57:21-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The state has had a 7-day rolling average of hospital capacity being at 15% or lower, which pushes us into the "blue phase" of Nebraska's Directed Health Measures.

The loosened measures allows indoor capacity to be 75% instead of 50%. Seating patrons in groups of eight or less is now just guidance for venues.

Related: Nebraska relaxing coronavirus restrictions on Thursday

The new guidelines give business owners hope that we'll get back to normal soon.

"We’re so long overdue for that normalcy everyone wants to be safe and feel safe when they go out," Bill Baburek, owner of Crescent Moon said.

The pandemic has especially affected businesses, with many having to change operations including switching to contactless takeout. Baburek says the pandemic has been devastating for his business.

"We laid off immediately about 80% of our work force back in march," Baburek said. "We were starting to come out during the summer and early fall. We were starting to recover a little bit and then the cases started to surge again and business dropped back down again to where we were doing 40 percent of our regular business."

With the new restrictions he's hopeful his business will be back to where it was soon.

"I don’t want to go backwards I don’t think anyone wants to go backwards, we want to keep moving forward," he said. "I just hope that people are going to come back to all the businesses. Any of the restaurants, we’re in the Blackstone District, we’re an entertainment district we have a new hotel that opened across the street from us. I want people to come back out and enjoy it. I hope we have a great great year."