Beatrice City Health Board Enacts Restrictions, Because of COVID-19 Threat
BEATRICE – A local health board in Beatrice has enacted an order with restrictions aimed at lessening the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 in the city.
The board of five, with one member absent, passed the order following an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon.
It includes imposing a limit on groups to ten people or less in certain businesses where you cannot have a minimum of six feet between persons. Businesses included would be salons, barber shops, tattoo, massage and nail salons. Beatrice City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says the order requires child care providers to have no more than ten children in a group.
"Child care can be carried out in groups of ten or fewer children. To the extent possible, you maintain the same ten kids in the same group day after day. You try to make sure they are in separate areas. You try not to mingle the groups together the next day. You try not to mingle staff, you try to keep them all separated".
The order also closes the city’s skateboard park, where groups of more than ten have been observed. The order will be in effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and will extend through May 11th, unless extended, renewed or terminated.
The order excludes health care providers.
Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang says the violation of the order would be a class-3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to three-months in jail and a $500 fine.
"By no stretch of the imagination do we hope to, at any point, have to arrest anybody for this. We intend to educate and work with business owners and the public to get compliance. It would be our intention to have officers visit with the hair salons and some of these people that have been open and have to be closed.....and let them know of the ruling. I think we'll get good compliance that way".
Lang said the community is “all in this together” and he says officers will be out there trying to educate the public about the restrictions.
Health Board member, Dr. Steven Paulmeyer said they are reasonable restrictions given an increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
"I think this will, hopefully clarify things for a lot of folks in the community. I think there's already a lot of anticipation of a move like this, and people aren't just quite aware of when that's supposed to happen, and what the threshold is. I think all of you are aware of our counts..albeit that they're restricted to a specific location. We're unfortunately slowing climbing that board of positives, and I think that being in such close proximity to Lincoln and with their current restrictions, I think it only makes sense".
The Beatrice Health Board will continue to meet on an as-needed basis, during the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic.