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This Midwest state is going to end all social distancing restrictions

Nebraska will end nearly all of its social distancing practices

In this July 15, 2020, file photo, One-stop operator Vickie Gregorio with the Heartland Workforce Solutions talks to a jobseeker outside the workforce office in Omaha, Neb., as others seeking employment wait behind her.
One-stop operator Vickie Gregorio with the Heartland Workforce Solutions talks to a jobseeker outside the workforce office in Omaha, Neb., as others seeking employment wait behind her on July 15, 2020.
Nati Harnik, Associated Press

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said recently that he will end nearly all of the state’s social distancing guidelines — even as the state has seen a rise in new coronavirus cases over the last few months.

What’s going on?

  • Nebraska will issue new rules that will limit the size of indoor gatherings — like concerts, meeting hall and theaters — and end state-mandated guidelines about distancing.
  • Small indoor facilities — like bars, restaurants, churches, gyms and hair salons — will have no formal COVID-19 restrictions anymore. Of course, the state recommends limiting crowd sizes. But those won’t be enforced by the state.
  • Omaha and Lincoln — Nebraska’s biggest cities — will still require face coverings indoors.
  • The state made the decision after it met a goal to protect hospital capacity, the Associated Press reports.

What’s happening in Nebraska:

The rule change comes as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suspended six different Greek chapters for hosting large gatherings without face masks or social distancing, which violates the university’s policies, according to KETV.

“I am very disappointed in the behavior that has now required us to take these measures,” UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “This kind of activity places the health of others and the community at risk. It is seriously important that our students adhere to our health protocols and policies. If they refuse to do so, the university is left with no choice but to pursue disciplinary measures.”