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East-Central announces relaxed DHMs starting June 1
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East-Central announces relaxed DHMs starting June 1


The East-Central District Health Department in Columbus.

The East-Central District Health Department recently announced new Directed Health Measures that will go into effect June 1. 

"Obviously they're going to relax," Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley said of the new DHMs for the East-Central District, which encompasses Platte, Colfax, Boone and Nance counties. "They're (residents) going to have the ability to start going out. We want people to start being able to go out and enjoy things but we still want social distancing. Even though people are going to be able to go out and eat, it's still going to be limited.

"I'm excited about it, but we have to go slowly."


*Only travelers returning from international travel will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Nebraska. This restriction will not apply to individuals traveling in connection with military service or employment at a health care facility.

Sports and Activities

*Sports teams have been categorized by contact level – contact, limited contact,  and non-contact -- and these categories will be used to determine the opening of different team sports.

*Limited and non-contact team sports, including baseball, softball, and volleyball practices may begin June 1. 

*Games for limited and non-contact team sports may begin June 18.

*Rodeo events may also begin starting June 1.

*June 1 Statewide Sports Reopening Guidelines must be followed for both youth and adults.

*Rodeos are permitted to follow DHM requirements for gatherings.

*School gyms and weight rooms are permitted to follow DHMs for gyms, health spas, fitness centers/clubs, and health clubs. 

Bars and restaurants

*Restaurants will remain open for dine-in service; bars, bottle clubs and “gentlemen’s clubs” may reopen.

*Patrons of these establishments will be required to be seated while on premises unless they are placing an order or using the restroom.

*Restaurants and bars are limited to 50% of rated occupancy maximum at a time.

*Six (6) feet of separation must be maintained between seating of different parties.

*Six (6) feet of separation between entertainers, performers, dancers, and patrons must be maintained. *There is a maximum of 6 individuals in a party. Groups larger than  6 will need to split into multiple tables.

*Food may not be consumed at bar seating.

*Games such as pool, darts, arcade games, etc., are prohibited.

 Childcare Facilities

*These will remain at not more than 15 children per room/space. All other state provisions, statutes, and regulations, including child to staff ratios, still apply.


*Gatherings will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 25% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 3,000) for gatherings held at: indoor or outdoor arenas, indoor or outdoor auctions, stadiums, tracks, fairgrounds, festivals, zoos, auditoriums, large event conference rooms, meeting halls, indoor theaters, libraries, swimming Pools, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.

*Groups shall be no larger than 6 individuals.

*Six (6) feet separation between groups must be maintained.

*Parades, carnivals, midways, dances and street dances, and beer gardens are prohibited through June 30; this may be extended. Parades where patrons remain in their vehicles and the public does not line the streets are permitted.

*Dance recitals are permitted but must follow the gathering requirements.

*Drive-in movie theaters may open at full capacity as long as patrons remain in/on their vehicles while viewing the movie and congregating at concession and restroom areas are not permitted.

*Plans for reopening must be submitted to the local health department and approved for all indoor and outdoor locations/venues that hold 500 or more individuals (1,000 or more in counties over 500,000 population) before reopening is permitted. The reopening plan must contain planned number of guests, how the location will meet social distancing guidelines and sanitation guidelines.

Gyms, Fitness Centers/Clubs, Health Clubs, & Health Spas

*Occupancy will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 50% of rated occupancy.

*Venue must ensure a minimum distance of 6 feet be maintained between all patrons.

Salons, Barber Shops, Massage Therapy Services, & Tattoo Parlors/Body Art Facilities

*Occupancy will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 50% of rated occupancy.

*Chairs/stations must remain at least 6 feet apart.

*Both workers and patrons are still required in the DHM to wear masks at all times.

*An exception will be made for services provided by aestheticians.

*Patrons will be permitted to remove their mask while receiving services directly. The mask must be worn by the patron at all other times while on the premise.

*These will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 50% of rated occupancy.

*Six (6) feet separation between seating of different parties must be maintained.

*There is to be a maximum of 6 individuals at one table. Groups larger than 6 must be split into multiple tables.

*Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals.

*No dances or other social events that require guests to gather outside of their respective tables are permitted.

There have been four COVID-19 related deaths within the ECDHD jurisdiction since May 8, 2020, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 are still increasing. Despite the relaxation of certain DMHs, ECDHD encourages all residents of its four counties to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, including:  Wearing a mask in public, frequent hand washing with using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the crook of your arm and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. 

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