Governor announces relaxed COVID-19 DHMs for May 18

Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the South Heartland District Health Department will loosen its directed health measures beginning on May 18.

The health district's area includes Adams, Webster, Nuckolls and Clay counties.

The new directed health measures will go into effect at 12 a.m. May 18 and include the following:

  • Restaurant dining rooms are limited to 50% of maximum occupancy rating at a time. Each dining party must maintain a minimum of six (6) feet of separation from each dining party. Maximum of six individuals in each dining party (groups larger than six will need to split into multiple tables). Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Restaurant staff must serve food directly to customers or implement buffet orders from the customer's table. No customer self-service. Bar and counter seating are not permitted. Patrons may only consume alcohol on the premise if they are also consuming a meal. More information can be found here.
  • Beauty and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services and tattoo studios can open while maintaining the 10-person rule with employees and customers wearing masks.
  • Childcare facilities will be permitted to have up to 15 children per room/space, an increase of five over the current requirements.

The following changes were previously announced, and have been in effect since May 4:

  • Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship can resume services, weddings and funerals beginning May 4. Each household must meet a minimum of six feet of separation.
  • Hospitals can resume elective surgeries on May 4 if hospitals meet certain capacity requirements. Dental offices, eye care clinics and veterinary clinics can also reopen.

The following restrictions were previously in place, and will continue through May 31:

  • Gatherings of more than 10 people in a single space at a time are still prohibited. This includes gyms, conference rooms, libraries, or other confined indoor or outdoor spaces. It does not include health care facilities, polling places, churches, factories, retail or grocery stores.
  • People who test positive for COVID-19 - including those who have not been tested but are showing symptoms as well as those who live with a COVID-19 positive patient and are showing symptoms – are required to home quarantine for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. Household members of a COVID-19 positive patient can discontinue their home quarantine 7 days after the COVID-19 positive patient is released from home quarantine, but they must self-monitor for an additional 7 days after that.
  • No in-person instruction is allowed from elementary or secondary schools, but meal distribution and remote learning is still allowed.
  • Organized team sports for youth and adults are suspended.

All other businesses currently ordered to close must remain closed until May 31, or until the orders are amended, including bars, gentlemen's clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theatres, and indoor theatres.

For additional guidance regarding the reopening of businesses, including beauty salons and massage therapy, click here.

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