Ricketts unrolls COVID-19 directed health measures, effective Wednesday

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 8:52 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - During a news conference Monday morning, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced new directed health measures — some that had been in place before — that will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Included in the latest DHMs:

  • Businesses will be required to have six feet of separation between customers. Dine-in options will still be allowed at bars and restaurants, but there will be a maximum of eight people per table, per party.
  • Masks will be required for business personnel that have contact closer than six feet with customers for more than 15 minutes.
  • Customers at bars and restaurants will be required to be and remain seated. If you’re playing a game, you will be required to wear a mask.
  • Those attending extra-curricular activities, whether it’s club sports or school-sponsored, will be limited to only household family.
  • Churches and places of worship must also abide by six-foot social distancing rules, but there will be no limit on occupancy.
  • Indoor gatherings will only be allowed 25% of occupancy with no more than 10,000 people. Previously, that was at 50%. These include indoor/outdoor arenas, zoos, auditoriums, large event conference rooms, meeting halls, indoor theaters, libraries, swimming pools, and any other confined indoor/outdoor spaces.
  • Indoor carnivals and dances are prohibited. Dancing is permitted at wedding receptions if individuals remain at their tables and keep six feet social distance. Recitals are permitted but must follow the gathering requirements.
  • Gyms, fitness clubs, and spas must maintain six feet of separation between customers.
  • Salons, barbershops, massage therapy businesses, and tattoo parlors must maintain six feet between customers, and patrons and employees must wear masks at all times. For services provided on the face, the customer will be allowed to remove their mask while receiving those services.
  • Wedding and funeral receptions can only have as many as eight people per table, and that there is six of distance between tables.

The governor said there was not going to be a statewide mask mandate, but reminded the public about the mask requirements in the new DHM. He said that he thinks mask mandates breed resistance to wearing masks, pointing to the mask ordinance in Omaha and noting how many showed up at the City Council meeting to dispute it.

6 News asked Ricketts if he would change his mind if here were approached by President-Elect Joe Biden about a mask mandate would he change his mind. “I would not be going along with a mask mandate”

Ricketts said the state has asked businesses to move to work-from-home plans, and that the state itself is moving that direction with its employees.

The governor said that hospitals in the state have been collaborative in their efforts to respond to the higher bed capacities.

Watch the governor’s Monday news conference

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