On March 13, 2020, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued an Emergency Declaration for COVID-19.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued guidance for COVID-19, specifically warning against gatherings of more than ten people. Governor Ricketts requested voluntary compliance by Nebraskans with guidelines recommended by the CDC that a ten-person limit on gatherings be observed as well as other measures be taken for social distancing.
Most organizations, businesses, bars, and restaurants within the corporate limits of Falls City have voluntarily implemented the recommendation of the CDC. Some social gatherings in excess of ten persons continue to take place within Falls City. Such gatherings could result in the fast community spread of COVID-19 virus within our city and county.
Based on available data and estimates, the spread of the virus within Falls City could quickly overwhelm our healthcare system and endanger the lives of the residents of Falls City.
The Board of Health of the City of Falls City, to safeguard the health of the people of the city, issue the following regulation to go into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020, and remain in effect until Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. unless sooner repealed or extended by the Board.
All gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited.
A gathering is defined as any event that brings together more than ten patrons customers or other invitees excluding staff in a single room or single space at the same time including but not limited to; a school, daycare facility (including in-home facilities), gymnasium, salon, fitness center, auditorium, stadium, arena, large event conference room, meeting hall, theater, library or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. This also includes weddings and funerals, as well as parades, fairs, festivals, concerts in other indoor and outdoor events.
For clarity, a gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, health care facilities shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where ten or more persons may be in transit. It also does not include typical office environments, factories, or retail or grocery stores where large numbers of people are present. Still, it is typically unusual for them to be within six feet of one another. It also does not include events at which members of the media may need to be present, courts of law, Public Utilities, critical state, County comma and city operations, election offices in polling places on Election Day, distribution centers, or family residences housing ten or more people. However, these settings are directed to use heightened, diligent, and effective disinfection of exposed services meeting the directions of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environment Protection agency.
The above regulation shall have the force and effect of law. Any law enforcement officer may enforce it with jurisdiction within the corporate limits of the city of Falls City. Any persons who shall violate or refuse to comply with any of the provisions shall be deemed guilty of an offense and upon conviction therefor shall be fined not more than $500 for each offense. Failure to disperse according to the lawful order of any law enforcement officer in the enforcement of the regulations may result in an additional citation under this regulation comma the Nebraska Criminal Code or other state statutes.
All employers, retail outlets, health care providers including clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, daycare providers, and all other businesses within the city are encouraged to use social distancing as outlined in the March 16, 2020, CDC guidance.