Community spread of COVID-19 confirmed in Buffalo County

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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) -- A community-transmitted case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was identified in Buffalo County. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials are unable to identify how or where they became infected.

In coordination with the office of Governor Pete Ricketts, Two Rivers Public Health Department will be enacting Directed Health Measures on all seven counties in the district. These counties include Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps.

Directed Health Measures impose enforceable limits on public gatherings. Directed Health Measures require restaurants and bars to close dining areas immediately and move to take out service, delivery, and/or curbside services only until further notice. In accordance with these measures, schools are directed to operate without students in the buildings, but allows school staff to continue working within the building. These directed health measures do not apply to daycares per executive order, which can be found here.

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.

DHHS opened 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. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

For more information call Two Rivers Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154 or visit www.trphd.org.
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