Gov. Pete Ricketts re-stated the state’s corona virus plan Friday and said there will be no further limits on gatherings unless a case of corona virus is “community spread.”
No one knows where a community spread case comes from. It is not from travel or a known case.
The state and federal guideline that is already in place limits get-togethers to 10 people or less. Most businesses appear to be voluntarily adhering to that, with restaurants moving primarily to take out, and schools are closed and churches have cancelled services.
Ricketts said he won’t restrict any gathering further, at least not yet. He said the state has relatively few COVID-19 cases that are being monitored.
“We want people to be healthy and safe, but people can still go to work,” he said. “We have 33 known cases in Nebraska, and one-third of them are from one contact. Health officials are doing a good job of keeping people isolated.”
Ricketts said early in the week that if a COVID-19 case in greater Nebraska is “community spread,” it triggers enforceable limits. Until then, the limits are voluntary.
On Thursday night, Ricketts put an enforceable limit on public gatherings in Cass, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties in eastern Nebraska, after a second case of community transmission of the corona virus was discovered in Douglas County (Omaha area.)
His order requires restaurants and bars in these areas to close their dining areas immediately and move to takeout service, delivery and/or curbside service, something that is generally being done voluntarily.
Ricketts also said it’s vital that people keep a six-foot distance from each other. And he reiterated that those with a fever of 100.4 or respiratory symptoms (coughs, labored breathing) should keep to themselves and contact their doctor. They will be tested for known strains of flu, and if known strains are not found, they will be tested for corona virus.
Ricketts said COVID-19 test materials (kits) are in relative short supply. He said the most important thing is prevention.
People should cover their coughs and wash their hands frequently, like they do to stem the spread of colds and flu.
He said he doesn’t foresee that Nebraska will implement a California-type crackdown, where the governor banned all non-essential activity.
Even so in California, jogging and walking in the park are considered essential activities so people are still getting out. Gas stations there, as well as pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and laundromats are allowed to stay open, as well as law enforcement and other offices that provide government programs and services, USA Today reported.