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COVID-19 numbers are surging in Cedar County, and across Nebraska

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LINCOLN — Amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, Gov. Pete Ricketts Monday announced plans to try and slow the spread.

COVID-19 case numbers across the state have skyrocketed in the past few weeks. The state is now seeing more than 1,000 new cases per day.

Cedar County is not immune from the surge.

As of Monday at 5 p.m., Cedar County had 283 COVID cases, an increase of 27 since Friday. Wayne County now has the greatest number of COVID numbers in the four-county Northeast Nebraska Public Health Dept. District.

The latest Northeast Nebraska Public Health District report shows Wayne County now has 551 COVID cases, while Thurston County has 523.

Ricketts, said COVID hospitalizations have tripled in just over a month. He said Nebraskans need to “step up” and work to improve their efforts to fight COVID-19.

Ricketts announced several new Directed Health Measures that will take affect Wednesday.

These include a reduction of capacity at indoor gatherings from 50 percent to 25 percent.

The updated directed health measure also now mandates a 6-foot separation in bars, restaurants, churches, gyms and other settings.

The Governor’s order also makes the use of masks a requirement in any business where close contact occurs for more than 15 minutes. Some examples he gave were salons, tattoo parlors and massage therapy businesses. However, he said he would not consider a statewide mask mandate.

The directed health measure also limits spectator attendance at youth extracurricular activities to only members of the participant’s household.

“We really need folks to pitch in and help out, so we can slow the spread of the virus and protect hospital capacity,” Ricketts said.

The new directed health measure will be in effect until at least Nov. 30.