The directed health measure for Lincoln will be extended until May 11.
The announcement came first on Wednesday afternoon from Governor Pete Ricketts, followed by Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.
This extends the restrictions announced March 26, which include:
- Gatherings for any reason of more than 10 people in single spaces, including schools; fitness centers and gyms; auditoriums, stadiums and arenas; large event conference rooms and meeting halls; theaters; and libraries. Daycare and childcare facilities will be allowed to operate with groups of 10 or fewer children. If more than one group of children is cared for, each group shall be separated.
- Gatherings for any reason of less than 10 people in single spaces where a minimum of six feet between all individuals cannot be maintained including, but not limited to, tattoo and barber shops, beauty and nail salons, and massage establishments.
- Food and beverage sales at any dine-in establishments including restaurants, bars, taverns, and private clubs are restricted to drive-thru, carry out, and delivery only. This does not apply to food service in health care facilities. Alcohol sales are restricted to carry-out sales and delivery only, to the extent permitted by law. No on-site consumption of alcohol is permitted.
Gaylor Baird said the outbreak of cases linked to a Smithfield Foods meat plant in Crete played a role in the decision to extend the DHM, which aligns with others across the state.
A number of key factors will dictate whether the restrictions are extended past the new date. A decision on that will be announced closer to May 11, Gaylor Baird said.
“It is a balancing act that we’re really trying to get right,” Gaylor Baird said. “This is again an uncharted terriorty we’re entering. Nobody has had to do this to this degree before.”
Gaylor Baird said she sought advice locally and nationally, including talking with experts at UNMC, John Hopkins University, and the CDC.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department now has 18 nurses and other staff working to conduct “contact tracing” – which is how health officials identify individuals who have come in contact with patients.