COVID cases continue to climb
Over the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way every aspect of life is conducted, causing health departments across the country and state, including Two Rivers Public Health Department which covers Dawson, Buffalo, Gosper, Phelps, Kearney, Harlan and Franklin counties; the Central District Health Department which serves Hall, Merrick, and Hamilton counties; and the Loup Basin Public Health Department which covers Howard, Sherman, Custer, Valley, Greeley, Blaine, Loup, Garfield, and Wheeler counties. Those health departments have issued numerous Directed Health Measures (DHM), along with DHMs issued by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, for members of the public to follow to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect members of the public.
Earlier this fall, Governor Ricketts ended almost all statewide pandemic restrictions on Monday, September 14. On Wednesday, October 21, Governor Ricketts issued statewide changes to Direct Health Measures from prior directives which effects elective procedures/surgeries at hospitals, patron behavior in bars and restaurants, indoor and outdoor gatherings, and limits on wedding and funeral venues. The changes were scheduled to remain in effect until Monday, November 30. Due to increasing cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the governor issued an outline of changes to upcoming DHMs on Monday, November 9, which took effect on Wednesday, November 11. The outline included changes to the six feet separation rule and masking; extracurricular activities; guidelines for bars and restaurants, churches and places of worship, gatherings, gyms, fitness centers and clubs, health clubs and health spas, salons, barber shops, massage therapy services and tattoo parlors, and wedding and funeral reception venues.
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