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Ricketts Extends DHM To Entire State

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – All 93 Nebraska counties are now under Directed Health Measures. Governor Pete Ricketts issued his 9th DHM Friday, adding the remaining 37 counties not previously covered by one. All counties will be under DHM requirements until May 11th unless renewed.

Ricketts says the decision to include all counties under DHM rules was based on the fact that there are now community spread cases – those where investigators couldn’t identify where or how the person was infected – all across the state.

Ricketts says “The next several weeks will be key to slowing the spread of the virus in Nebraska. We are asking Nebraskans to further limit social interactions, work, go home, and shop once a week.”

The DHM Provisions are essentially the same as the voluntary ones the vast majority of Nebraskans have been observing since the governor issued his COVID emergency, but they are now mandatory and enforceable as misdemeanors. It’s been that way in the Panhandle since Monday.

As of 6:00 Friday night, Nebraska had 285 confirmed positive tests for COVID 19 and 6 deaths with 4,487 negative tests. The positive tests include 10 workers at the JBS beef plant in Grand Island .

The beef plant will not be shut down because the federal government considers food and agricultural production and processing facilities essential infrastructure.

Hall County, which includes Grand Island, has the state’s second-highest number of confirmed positive cases with 27. The most confirmed cases are in Douglas County, encompassing Omaha, where officials have logged 125.