Gov. Pete Ricketts announced public events and gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer statewide following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control issued Monday.
The governor made the announcement at a press conference Monday afternoon. He said businesses can stay open and the limit does not include grocery stores.
Earlier in a news release Monday, Ricketts had indicated there would be a 50-person limit for the next eight weeks. Events include concerts, festivals, conferences, worship service, sporting and other such events.
Further, the press release outlined that bars and restaurants will move to takeout only on a regional basis when:
- A second community transmission case is confirmed in the Omaha area.
- There are one or two confirmed community transmission cases in Lincoln.
- There is one confirmed community transmission case for other Nebraska communities and Nebraska’s Educational Service Units.
As of Monday morning, Nebraska officials had announced 17 cases of COVID-19, all but two from Douglas County. At least one reported being present in Lincoln at two girls’ basketball tournament games in late February.
There has been one community transmission case reported in the state so far, in Douglas County. A community transmission is where health officials cannot identify a direct link to a case.
The guidelines posted by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also asks event organizers to cancel events primarily for or attended by older adults and people with chronic medical conditions at higher risk for severe illness.
After community transmission begins, event organizers will be required to limit the size of events and public gatherings to 20 people. Restaurants will be takeout only, and bars will be asked to close.