LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has decided against easing his coronavirus Directed Health Measure for at least another month.
Ricketts had hoped to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 this month, but the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths convinced him to remain in Phase 3.
The biggest difference is that in Phase 4, most of the restrictions become recommendations instead of carrying the threat of misdemeanor citations for non-compliance. The maximum size of public gatherings in outdoor and indoor venues is also higher in Phase 4.
After reporting 445 new cases on Friday – the highest number since May 16 – Nebraska Health and Human Services had only 180 new cases Saturday. The state total now stands at 26,391 with 332 deaths, the same as Friday.
Nebraska has had 19,325 coronavirus recoveries with 6,744 active cases including 142 who are hospitalized, 10 fewer than on Friday. 39% of all hospital beds and 42% of ICU beds in the state remain available along with 84% of respirators.