COVID-19 State Overview


What would you like to do?

What you need to know

For most Nebraskans, COVID-19 will be like a cold, however this illness is anything but the common cold or flu. For our parents and grandparents, it could be very severe, and could result in death. Recent data shows that the virus is also affecting younger people. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said 20% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. were 20-44 years old. Even if you're healthy, you can pass COVID-19 on to people who could be severely affected. Help protect those you love by avoiding crowds, distancing yourself from other people and isolating yourself even if you think you just have a case of the sniffles.

Community transmission is now identified in several areas of the state. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials can't identify how or where they became infected.

Flatten the Curve
Flatten the Curve

Flattening the curve

We want to slow the spread of disease in our communities. By doing that, our hospitals and clinics won't be overwhelmed and can continue to provide care to families, friends and neighbors who need it. Flattening the curve means everybody does their part to reduce spread of COVID-19 for as long as possible. If we slow it down enough, our hospitals might just be able to keep up.

Slowing the spread

As Nebraskans, we face our challenges together and we all have a role to play this response. Staying home and staying away from groups of people will slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Here's what being done in Nebraska and what you can do right now to protect yourself, your family and your community:

State Directed Health Measures (DHM) for all 93 Nebraska counties:

  • Imposes an enforceable, 10-person limit on public gatherings.  
  • Prohibits medical and dental elective surgeries and procedures.
  • Requires schools (public, private, and parochial) to operate without students through May 31, 2020.
  • Cancels all school-related extracurricular activities through May 31, 2020.
  • Requires restaurants and bars to close their dining areas and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only. 
  • Requires individuals to home quarantine for at least 14 days if:
    • They have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • They have a fever of 100.4° F or above
    • They have experienced sudden onset of a cough and/or shortness of breath
    • They reside or have resided with individuals who've tested positive for COVID-19 or have the above symptoms. *NOTE: The quarantine requirement excludes those individuals with seasonal allergies, COPD, or other diagnoses that may produce respiratory symptoms.  Additionally, the directive doesn't apply to patients who have an alternative non-COVID-19 diagnosis from a healthcare provider.  These patients should follow the treatment and guidance provided by their healthcare provider for such conditions.
    • Some individuals in home quarantine may not experience the onset of symptoms until the latter half of their 14-day quarantine period.  In this case, the length of their quarantine may exceed 14 days.  Individuals should remain in quarantine until 7 days have passed since onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved, and they have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.  
  • The DHM's limitation on public gatherings does not apply to:
    • Retail or grocery stores where people should maintain six feet of distance from one another.
    • Daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor's executive order regarding childcare.
    • Other locations detailed in the DHM.

Locally Issued DHMs (Apply only to particular local health department jurisdictions)

Personal measures:

  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with sick people
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Higher risk groups

Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

People in these higher-risk groups should: 

  • Stock up on supplies, including extra necessary medications.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.