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North Platte

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LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the State’s eighth COVID-19 related Directed Health Measure (DHM) includes Antelope, Arthur, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Hooker, Keya Paha, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Pierce, Rock, and Thomas counties. It will be in effect beginning today at 10 pm and will last until May 11th unless renewed.

Under this new DHM, schools are closed through May 31, 2020 and extracurricular activities are also cancelled. Additionally, the new DHM cancels elective dental procedures and surgeries.

The quarantine measures are for individuals who are COVID-19 positive or develop fever, sudden onset of a dry cough, or sudden onset of shortness of breath without provocation (such as walking up stairs, running, choking, etc.). This excludes those with seasonal allergies, COPD, or other diagnoses that may produce respiratory symptoms. Additionally, the directive doesn’t apply to patients who have an alternative non-COVID-19 diagnosis from a healthcare provider. These patients should follow the treatment and guidance provided by their healthcare provider for such conditions.

The State-issued DHM now applies to 56 counties in Nebraska.

The first DHM, issued on March 18th, applies to Cass, Douglas, and Sarpy counties and is in effect until at least April 30th.

The second DHM, issued on March 25th, applies to Dodge, Lancaster, Saunders, and Washington counties and is in effect until at least May 6th.

The third DHM, issued on March 28th, applies to Butler, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Polk, Seward, and York counties and is in effect until May 6th unless renewed.

The fourth DHM, issued on March 29th, applies to Burt, Cuming, Madison, and Stanton counties and is in effect until May 6th unless renewed.

The fifth DHM, issued on March 30th, applies to Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.

The sixth DHM, issued on March 31st, applies to Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.

The seventh DHM, also issued on March 31st, applies to Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.

The eighth DHM, issued on April 1st, applies to Antelope, Arthur, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Hooker, Keya Paha, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Pierce, Rock, and Thomas counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.

The DHM and quarantine directions covering all of these counties can be found by clicking here.

The DHM imposes an enforceable limit on public gatherings. Among other steps, the DHM requires restaurants and bars in these areas to close their dining areas immediately and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only until further notice. Additionally, schools in these areas are directed to operate without students in their buildings. This restriction does not apply to school staff working in school buildings. It also does not apply to daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor’s executive order regarding childcare, which you can access by clicking here.

Counties other than those noted above remain under the guidance issued March 18th by the Governor’s Office. You can find it by clicking here. If further community transmission cases of COVID-19 occur in other regions of the state, the Governor will announce DHMs covering the additional regions.

In addition to the DHMs issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Adi M. Pour has issued an order covering Douglas County from March 18, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Full details of the order can be found on the Douglas County Health Department website (douglascountyhealth.com) or by clicking here.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department also issued a DHM, which can be found by clicking here. The order lasts until May 6, 2020.

Furthermore, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department issued a DHM, which can be found by clicking here. The order lasts until April 30, 2020.

UNDERSTANDING THE STATE’S DIRECTED HEALTH MEASURE

Who does the Directed Health Measure apply to?

It applies to places such as theaters, churches, houses of worship, gyms, social clubs, salons, and social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and athletic events. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM applies to.

Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant?

At bars and restaurants, it applies to patrons, not to your workforce. Restaurants and bars are encouraged to ask their patrons if they can prepare their order for takeout upon arrival. Restaurants will play a key part in feeding people throughout the pandemic.

Do I need to shut down my daycare?

No. DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow. You can find it by clicking here.

Do I need to shut down my office?

No. The Directed Health Measure does not apply to places such as office buildings, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, court houses, court rooms, banks, car dealerships, auto repair shops, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, small shops, golf courses, big box stores, gas stations, convenience stores, shopping malls, manufacturing facilities, packing facilities, construction jobs, and other traditional office settings. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM does not apply to.

Furthermore, we do not expect these facilities to be impacted by additional limits at this time.

Do I need to cancel a wedding or a funeral?

Weddings and funerals are also subject to the 10-person limit. Event planners and facilities are encouraged to be flexible with people who are rearranging their plans.

 

 

 


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North Platte, Ne - The West Central District Health Department (WCDHD) emphasizes the need for everyone to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible, while new cases of COVID-19 continue to be found in the community. WCDHD has received preliminary results on seven new cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County.

 

The new cases involve one woman in her 40s and one in her 60s, plus three men in their 40s, one man in his 50s and one man in his 60s. Four of the cases are linked to known positive travel cases, four are direct contacts to travels and there are four individuals linked to two incidents of community transmission in the county. This brings the total lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 12. The Health Department’s trained staff is investigating all cases and will communicate with anyone whom they are aware of that may have been exposed. 

“Community spread means we don’t know the source or contact of the disease,” said Shannon Vanderheiden, WCDHD executive director. “A case with an unknown source of infection is defined as community spread.  

“Our focus right now is to complete the contact investigations and to protect the health of the community,” said Vanderheiden.  “We want to continue to remind everyone that the best way to stop the spread of this virus is to stay at home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.”



If you visited any of the following locations at any of the dates and times listed below and are not showing symptoms, please self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms for 14 days from your most recent visit to one of the locations below.

If you are showing symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath), please contact your healthcare provider or public health. Please call before going to any healthcare facility.  Visit https://wcdhd.org/ for self-quarantine guidance.


Date

Location

Time

Risk

3/24/2020

NP -Walmart

4:00-4:45 PM

Low

3/26/2020

Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru

4:00-4:10 PM

Low

3/27/2020

Hobby Lobby

4:00-4:30 PM

Low


Flying J

4:30-5:00 PM

Low


Raising Cains

5:15-5:20 PM

Low


Burger King

5:25-5:30 PM

Low

3/28/2020

Hobby Lobby

4:30-5:00 PM

Low


Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru

5:00-5:15 PM

Low

3/29/2020

Luigi Curbside To-Go

6:30-6:40 PM

Low

3/30/2020

Gosnell Family Medicine

10:55-11:30 AM

Medium


GPH - ER

11:40 AM-1:10 PM

Medium


Arby's Drive-Thru

1:15-1:25 PM

Low


Wendy's Drive-Thru

1:30-1:40 PM

Low


Public health officials would like to remind everyone that if you have a fever of over 100.4 or symptoms of respiratory illness, please self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or your local health department.


WCDHD is in communication with state officials in regard to issuing a state Directed Health Measure; more information to follow.


For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.



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APRIL 1, 2020 (KEARNEY, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested three people and seized 20 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop near Kearney.

The traffic stop occurred at approximately 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, when a trooper observed a Chevrolet Tahoe fail to signal a turn as it exited Interstate 80 near Kearney. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected clandestine activity.

Troopers performed a search of the vehicle and found 20 pounds of methamphetamine and two ounces of marijuana. The driver, Shanae Douglas, 31, of Gary, Indiana, was also discovered to have a revoked driver’s license.

Douglas, and passengers Antoinette Brandy, 33, of Gary, Indiana, and Juwan Powell, 21, of Harvey, Illinois, were all arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver, and possession of marijuana. Douglas was also cited for driving with a revoked driver’s license. All three were lodged in Buffalo County Jail.

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North Platte, Ne - Seventeen Mid-Plains Community College employees have been honored for their dedication and part-time service to MPCC.

 

The employees and the communities they work in are as follows.

 

25 years of service

 

North Platte - Wanda Hornbacher, adult basic education instructor

 

20 years of service

 

McCook - Brigitta Post, adult basic education instructor and Stephen Lytle, security guard

 

North Platte - Linda Deeds, student success

 

15 years of service

 

North Platte - Vicki Hopping, NPCC volleyball recruiter; Donna Melvin, bus driver; Brad Nixon, scorebook; Jason Trosper, announcer and Jason Jensen, timer

 

10 years of service

 

North Platte - Kristen Grimes, student advisor

 

Imperial - Carla Colton, administrative assistant

 

Five years of service

 

McCook - Sandra Krysl, scorebook and Garrett Nokes, rodeo coach

 

North Platte - Jo Ann Lundgreen, administrative assistant; Gordon Peeks, lab assistant; Jeannette Daily, student success and Amanda Crow, administrative assistant


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Central District Health Department (CDHD) reports a total of fifteen (15) lab-confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. today, up from a total of 6 yesterday morning. Fourteen (14) cases are in Hall County and one (1) case is in Hamilton County. The total number of tests administered is not known since various labs both private and public are processing tests. The increased number of positive tests is concerning but not unexpected. “We will continue to monitor the number of positive cases in our three-county area, and take necessary actions to protect our community,” states Anderson.

Anderson reminds community members that social distancing is the responsibility of everyone ALL the time. Fresh air and sunshine are great both physically and mentally, but there are limits. It is not possible to play games like basketball or soccer and keep a 6-foot distance even outdoors. Outdoor activities that maintain social distancing include taking family walks or bike rides, hiking, boating, fishing, gardening, camping with the family, etc. As long as, a 6-foot distance between people is maintained, outdoor activities are encouraged. Also remember, ten or more people create a gathering inside or outside. “We are asking that people practice social distancing regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors,” says Anderson.

We see that as weeks go by, social distancing is becoming more of the standard and people are adapting to the idea of continuously maintaining that 6-foot distance. It is up to each of us to protect ourselves, our families and each other.  Slowing the spread of the virus remains our chief goal.

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LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference to announce that the State of Nebraska has extended statewide social distancing restrictions through April 30th.  Earlier in March, the State of Nebraska issued social distancing restrictions for the entire state.  The previously announced restrictions, which have now been extended, can be found by clicking here.

In addition to these social distancing restrictions, 30 counties are currently covered by a Directed Health Measure which can be found by clicking here.

At the news conference, Gov. Ricketts detailed new unemployment programs being implemented in Nebraska as a result of federal legislation to aid the pandemic response.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27, 2020.

The Governor explained that the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) is undertaking software changes and making other preparations to roll out the unemployment programs outlined in the CARES Act.  Nebraska’s Labor Commissioner, John Albin, is working directly with the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite implementation of the unemployment programs.  At today’s press briefing, Commissioner Albin joined the Governor to overview the unemployment programs contained in the CARES Act and to report on the State’s preparations to administer them.

Those programs include:
·       Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Allows unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted all other unemployment benefits, and those not eligible for other unemployment benefits, including workers who are self-employed and independent contractors.  The minimum PUA weekly payment will be $174 and top out at $440.

·       Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – This emergency increase in Unemployment Insurance Benefits adds $600 per week in federal benefits to the unemployment benefit amount for COVID-19 unemployment claims, including PUA claims.

·       Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – Allows 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to be added to the end of the normal 26 weeks of benefits.

·       Short Time Compensation Programs (also known as Work Share) – Provides federal funding of Short-Time Compensation, a program that allows businesses to uniformly reduce their teammates’ hours while the workers receive a partial unemployment benefit.

At today’s press event, Governor Ricketts also signed a proclamation to designate every Tuesday from March 31st through the end of April 2020 as “Takeout Tuesday.”  The purpose of the proclamation is to encourage Nebraskans to support their local dining establishments as these restaurants continue to serve customers during the pandemic.

R.J. Vega, with Copal restaurant in Lincoln, thanked the Governor for the proclamation during the press conference.  Vega described the challenges restaurants have faced due to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency.  Servers, bartenders, and hourly staff have had their lives profoundly impacted.  Restaurants have struggled to make payroll and keep the lights on.  Vega also spoke of Copal’s innovative work to overcome these challenges by transitioning its business model from dine-in to carry-out and delivery.

Gov. Ricketts also reiterated the State’s social distancing measures at the press conference.

·       Some Local Health Departments (LHD) in Lincoln and metro Omaha have issued additional restrictions on social gatherings and/or businesses.  Check with your LHD for additional information.  

·       The 10-person limitation applies to outdoor gatherings like picnics or outdoor activities like sand volleyball.

·       Travelers coming back to Nebraska from out of state should self-quarantine for 14 days.  This includes snowbirds returning to Nebraska after having spent the winter in places like Arizona, Florida, or Texas.  However, the guidance to sel

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is suspending the sale of nonresident spring turkey hunting permits in a proactive effort to prevent the potential for the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is being done by the Commission in coordination with Gov. Pete Ricketts Executive Order No. 20-11 to help protect the health of Nebraskans by discouraging unnecessary travel.

Game and Parks will stop selling 2020 nonresident spring turkey permits effective immediately. Nonresidents who have purchased permits will be able to use them, but will not be able to purchase additional permits. Nonresidents with Nebraska turkey permits will be contacted by Game and Parks through email within the next week with additional information, including potential refunds.

Nebraska’s spring turkey season opened March 25 for archers. The shotgun season opens April 11 for youth and April 18 for adults. All turkey seasons close May 31.

The agency in late March closed all parks offices and commission offices; service and education centers; and other facilities temporarily. Also closed in April, with a possible extension period, are state park and recreation area lodges, cabins, and public shower buildings.

State parks, recreation areas and campgrounds remain open at this time, as are a limited number of public restrooms, which are sanitized regularly per Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommendations.

For the most up-to-date information on closures and event cancellations or postponements, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo.

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MARCH 31, 2020 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), with the assistance of the Imperial Police Department, have arrested a Chase County man on multiple charges following an investigation into reported sexual assaults of a child.

In February, NSP was notified by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that a series of assaults had been reported to them. NSP immediately opened an investigation, which has determined that the assaults began in 2015 and continued until this year.

On Monday, March 30, officers with the Imperial Police Department arrested Richard Butt, 66, of Imperial. Butt was lodged in Chase County Jail for 1st degree sexual assault of a child and 3rd degree sexual assault of a child.

The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are possible.

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Central District Health Department Release: Today we report a total of six lab confirmed cases. Our first two cases of Covid-19 were reported on March 26, 2020. We have determined there is community spread and issued a Directed Health Measure for Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties on March 28, 2020.

During the first weeks of COVID-19 spread in the United States, our efforts were directed toward containing the virus; that is reducing the likelihood that we would see cases in our district. Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, we knew we could not prevent the virus entirely.  Now that we have community spread, our goal is to limit the number of cases at any one time in order to reduce the demand on our healthcare system. By reducing the number of people who have COVID-19 at any one time, we help keep the healthcare demand manageable.

The incubation period (time from exposure to onset of first symptoms) for COVID-19 can be up to 14 days. The symptoms range from no symptoms at all to fever alone or cough or shortness of breath or sore throat or severe fatigue or diarrhea. People with any of these symptoms should self-quarantine for 14 days, and if symptoms worsen, contact their healthcare provider.

 

There has been community concern for a birthday party held on March 14, 2020 in our district. CDHD reported no positive cases of COVID-19 at that time, and therefore no notice was provided to the public. We urge the community to focus on the fact that the virus is active in our community now and will likely continue to spread. Every one of us has a responsibility to reduce that spread by practicing social distancing and staying home when sick.  Refer to DHS 2020-1 (attached) for clarification and further information of the Directed Health Measure issued yesterday.

There is a statewide coronavirus (COVID-19) information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed: (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week. CDHD’s Covid line (308)385-5175 will be operational 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the weekend.

CDHD encourages residents to stay informed by checking CDHD’s website at www.cdhd.ne.gov for local information and updates, as well as links to the state and national websites.


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North Platte, Ne - West Central District Health Department (WCDHD) has identified two hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.While it is still early in the investigation, WCDHD will continue to aggressively work to determine the COVID-19 exposure source. This brings the total to five confirmed positive cases in Lincoln County. 


The first case is a male in his 90s who is currently hospitalized. 


The second individual is a female in her 80s who is currently hospitalized. 


“All of us have a role to play in this response. It’s critical that we continue to work together and focus on social distancing, self-isolation when ill and quarantining with high risk exposure to help slow the spread of COVID-19.” said Shannon Vanderheiden executive director of WCDHD. 


Public health officials would like to remind everyone that if you have symptoms of respiratory illness, please IMMEDIATLEY self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or your local health department.



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