Gov. Pete Ricketts

YORK COUNTY – York County is now included in the state’s third COVID-19 related Directed Health Measure (DHM), which includes Butler, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Polk and Seward Counties, which will be in effect until May 6 unless renewed.

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

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

Laura McDougall, director of the Four Corners Health Department issued a statement that says a case of community transmitted COVID-19 was reported in the Central Health Department region (Hall, Hamilton, Merrick Counties), “to our west. To our east, Lancaster County has also had community spread and Directed Health Measures were ordered earlier this week. Because of the Central District situation, DHHS has issued Directed Health Measures to be implemented in their district and has decided to include our District (Butler, Polk, Seward and York Counties) in the order. To be clear, at this moment we will do not have any lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our district, but as cases of community spread are detected around us, it becomes more probable that it is here as well, but undetected.”

According to information released by the office of Governor Pete Ricketts, 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 service, 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.

Counties other than those noted above remain under the guidance issued March 18 by the governor’s office.

Furthermore, state health officials have provided plain language guidance, by answering the following questions:

Q: Who does the Directed Health Measure apply to?

A: 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.

Q: Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant?

A: 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.

Q: Do I need to shut down my daycare?

A: No. DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow.

Q: Do I need to shut down my office?

A: 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.

Q: Do I need to cancel a wedding or a funeral?

A: 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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