LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the State’s eighth COVID-19 related Directed Health Measure (DHM) includes Antelope, Arthur, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Hooker, Keya Paha, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Pierce, Rock, and Thomas counties. It will be in effect beginning today at 10 pm and will last until May 11th unless renewed.
Under this new DHM, schools are closed through May 31, 2020 and extracurricular activities are also cancelled. Additionally, the new DHM cancels elective dental procedures and surgeries.
The quarantine measures are for individuals who are COVID-19 positive or develop fever, sudden onset of a dry cough, or sudden onset of shortness of breath without provocation (such as walking up stairs, running, choking, etc.). This excludes those 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.
The State-issued DHM now applies to 56 counties in Nebraska.
The first DHM, issued on March 18th, applies to Cass, Douglas, and Sarpy counties and is in effect until at least April 30th.
The second DHM, issued on March 25th, applies to Dodge, Lancaster, Saunders, and Washington counties and is in effect until at least May 6th.
The third DHM, issued on March 28th, applies to Butler, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Polk, Seward, and York counties and is in effect until May 6th unless renewed.
The fourth DHM, issued on March 29th, applies to Burt, Cuming, Madison, and Stanton counties and is in effect until May 6th unless renewed.
The fifth DHM, issued on March 30th, applies to Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.
The sixth DHM, issued on March 31st, applies to Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.
The seventh DHM, also issued on March 31st, applies to Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.
The eighth DHM, issued on April 1st, applies to Antelope, Arthur, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Hooker, Keya Paha, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Pierce, Rock, and Thomas counties and is in effect until May 11th unless renewed.
The DHM and quarantine directions covering all of these counties can be found by clicking here.
The DHM imposes an enforceable limit on public gatherings. Among other steps, the DHM requires restaurants and bars in these areas to close their dining areas immediately and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only until further notice. Additionally, schools in these areas are directed to operate without students in their buildings. This restriction does not apply to school staff working in school buildings. It also does not apply to daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor’s executive order regarding childcare, which you can access by clicking here.
Counties other than those noted above remain under the guidance issued March 18th by the Governor’s Office. You can find it by clicking here. If further community transmission cases of COVID-19 occur in other regions of the state, the Governor will announce DHMs covering the additional regions.
In addition to the DHMs issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Adi M. Pour has issued an order covering Douglas County from March 18, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Full details of the order can be found on the Douglas County Health Department website (douglascountyhealth.com) or by clicking here.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department also issued a DHM, which can be found by clicking here. The order lasts until May 6, 2020.
Furthermore, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department issued a DHM, which can be found by clicking here. The order lasts until April 30, 2020.
UNDERSTANDING THE STATE’S DIRECTED HEALTH MEASURE
Who does the Directed Health Measure apply to?
It applies to places such as theaters, churches, houses of worship, gyms, social clubs, salons, and social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and athletic events. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM applies to.
Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant?
At bars and restaurants, it applies to patrons, not to your workforce. Restaurants and bars are encouraged to ask their patrons if they can prepare their order for takeout upon arrival. Restaurants will play a key part in feeding people throughout the pandemic.
Do I need to shut down my daycare?
No. DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow. You can find it by clicking here.
Do I need to shut down my office?
No. The Directed Health Measure does not apply to places such as office buildings, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, court houses, court rooms, banks, car dealerships, auto repair shops, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, small shops, golf courses, big box stores, gas stations, convenience stores, shopping malls, manufacturing facilities, packing facilities, construction jobs, and other traditional office settings. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM does not apply to.
Furthermore, we do not expect these facilities to be impacted by additional limits at this time.
Do I need to cancel a wedding or a funeral?
Weddings and funerals are also subject to the 10-person limit. Event planners and facilities are encouraged to be flexible with people who are rearranging their plans.
North Platte, Ne - The West Central District Health Department (WCDHD) emphasizes the need for everyone to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible, while new cases of COVID-19 continue to be found in the community. WCDHD has received preliminary results on seven new cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County.
The new cases involve one woman in her 40s and one in her 60s, plus three men in their 40s, one man in his 50s and one man in his 60s. Four of the cases are linked to known positive travel cases, four are direct contacts to travels and there are four individuals linked to two incidents of community transmission in the county. This brings the total lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 12. The Health Department’s trained staff is investigating all cases and will communicate with anyone whom they are aware of that may have been exposed.
“Community spread means we don’t know the source or contact of the disease,” said Shannon Vanderheiden, WCDHD executive director. “A case with an unknown source of infection is defined as community spread.
“Our focus right now is to complete the contact investigations and to protect the health of the community,” said Vanderheiden. “We want to continue to remind everyone that the best way to stop the spread of this virus is to stay at home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.”
If you visited any of the following locations at any of the dates and times listed below and are not showing symptoms, please self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms for 14 days from your most recent visit to one of the locations below.
If you are showing symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath), please contact your healthcare provider or public health. Please call before going to any healthcare facility. Visit https://wcdhd.org/ for self-quarantine guidance.
Public health officials would like to remind everyone that if you have a fever of over 100.4 or symptoms of respiratory illness, please self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or your local health department.
WCDHD is in communication with state officials in regard to issuing a state Directed Health Measure; more information to follow.
For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
North Platte, Ne - Seventeen Mid-Plains Community College employees have been honored for their dedication and part-time service to MPCC.
The employees and the communities they work in are as follows.
25 years of service
North Platte - Wanda Hornbacher, adult basic education instructor
20 years of service
McCook - Brigitta Post, adult basic education instructor and Stephen Lytle, security guard
North Platte - Linda Deeds, student success
15 years of service
North Platte - Vicki Hopping, NPCC volleyball recruiter; Donna Melvin, bus driver; Brad Nixon, scorebook; Jason Trosper, announcer and Jason Jensen, timer
10 years of service
North Platte - Kristen Grimes, student advisor
Imperial - Carla Colton, administrative assistant
Five years of service
McCook - Sandra Krysl, scorebook and Garrett Nokes, rodeo coach
North Platte - Jo Ann Lundgreen, administrative assistant; Gordon Peeks, lab assistant; Jeannette Daily, student success and Amanda Crow, administrative assistant
After one season as McCook Community College men’s basketball coach, Kyle Drennan is leaving to take over as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
“This wasn’t my plan and it was a very difficult decision,” Drennan said. “My plan was to coach here for three or four years, establish myself and prove that I could coach at a high level.”
The UIC Flames compete in the Horizon League. Luke Yaklich was named coach on March 26. The Flames went 18-17 in the 2019-20 season, tied for fourth place in the Horizon League under former coach Steve McClain. As an assistant coach, Yaklich helped lead three collegiate programs – Texas, Michigan and Illinois State – to national postseason success.
“I’ve always wanted to live in Chicago and Coach Yaklich is someone I have a lot of respect for. He always told me if he ever got a D1 job, he wanted me to be part of his staff and the opportunity was just too good,”
"Kyle has worked incredibly hard throughout his journey into college basketball and has a wide variety of experiences with professional sports organizations and Division I athletics, as well as being a junior college head coach," said Yaklich, in a press release on the team’s web site.
“It is hard to see Coach Drennan go, but we understand it is hard to pass up on opportunity to be involved in a Division 1 program,” said Kelly Rippen, Area Vice President of Student Affairs and McCook Community College. “Coach Drennan loves the game of basketball and we knew his long-term goal was to work in a program full-time, and these opportunities don’t come about that often.”
“This was still a very difficult decision. I think with the players I’ve recruited plus the ones coming back that we would be even better next season with the goal of a Region IX championship,” Drennan said. “To give that up wasn’t easy, I had to sit down and talk to people about the direction I wanted to go, but at the end of the day my goal is to be a Division I coach, and this opportunity is the best one for that.”
“I’d like to thank Kyle for his work here and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said MCC Athletic Director Jon Olsen. “I was impressed with Kyle’s work on the basketball court, he kept coaching up his guys the entire year and it showed with how well they played down the stretch.”
Drennan, who was hired in June of 2019, took over a program with no returning players on the active roster. He brought nine freshmen and three sophomore transfers to MCC as the team picked up momentum near the end of the season. The Indians went 15-16 and won five straight games to finish the regular season before hosting a first-round home game in the Region IX tournament (the first in 13 years), where the Indians beat Lamar Community College 89-64 – the first Region IX tournament win in 20 years. The Indians fell in the second round to No. 15 Western Wyoming
Prior to his time in McCook, Drennan served as the director of operations at McNeese State for a year. Before than he served as the director of scouting and operations with JUCO Advocate out of Austin, Texas, where he guided players to the junior college ranks assisting them to obtain scholarships from four-year programs. Drennan began coaching in 2015 as an assistant coach at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan. He started his career in marketing with the Fenway Sports Group and the Salem Red Sox, a minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
“Coach Drennan has an incredible knack for recruiting and an ability to bring in talented players from all over the world,” Rippen said. “Although his time at MCC was short, I know he learned what being part of a college family was all about and I hope he will carry with him some great memories of MCC and the community. He will be a strong addition to the University of Illinois in Chicago and we wish him all the best.”
According to Olsen, once the position is approved and advertised, a search committee will begin work on filling the position.
“I am excited for the process, it will be a highly sought after job again just as it was last time, the opportunity to be a head coach at this level is pretty special,” Olsen said. “McCook is a great place to work so we will have our work cut out for us but I’m sure it will be a great search.”
Drennan said his 10 months at McCook had a profound impact on him and while he said he had a great deal of fun coaching in McCook, it is the wide-spread kindness he experienced that will leave a lasting impression and a trait he hopes to carry with him.
“McCook itself is a special place. As someone who came from the outside I’m telling you McCook has the nicest people in the world and I experienced that throughout my 10 months
here,” he said.
“I think sometimes you guys don’t know how special you are, and I told Kelly and Jon the same thing with regard to the college. I hope I can take that positive impact the people of McCook have had on me and take it with me and pass it on.”
The McCook Community College softball team has signed its first recruit for the 2021 season.
Taylor Thein of West Branch, Iowa has signed her letter of intent to continue her softball in McCook next season.
“Taylor’s strengths are her athleticism and speed. She brings versatility as she can play outfield or infield,” said MCC Softball Coach Kevin Kaalberg.
Within her school, she has been involved in many different activities and clubs including softball, basketball, soccer, track, student government, National Honor Society, co-editor in chief of her school newspaper, and was elected president of the student leadership activity team.
“I love being challenged to prove to myself that I can overcome obstacles,” she said.
She added that if she’s not playing a sport, you can find her fishing, hanging out with friends, or eating pizza.
Thein is not sure what she will study at MCC but, said “I am excited to start my journey as an Indian! Go Tribe!”
The GNAC conference would like to announce the following changes for the 2020/21 school year. In October 2019, Columbus High School applied and was accepted to the Heartland Athletic Conference (HAC). The following schools will remain in the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference for the 2020/21 school year: Hastings, McCook, North Platte, Gering and Scottsbluff. Due to the re-alignment of the conference, the tournament schedule will be reduced to the following tournaments: Boys’ Tennis, Girls’ Tennis, Boys’ Golf, Girls’ Golf, Swimming/Diving, and Track and Field.