The North Bend Eagle


Dodge, Saunders not included in relaxed DHM

by Nathan Le Arneal
Published 4/29/20

Governor Pete Ricketts has announced a relaxing of restrictions put in place by the Directed Health Measure, which has been effective in Dodge and Saunders counties since March 25.

The relaxed DHM, which allows the reopening of restaurants and salons with certain guidelines, is effective in 10 of the state’s 19 local health departments. However, Three Rivers Health Department, which covers Dodge, Saunders and Washington counties, is not included in the new directive.

That means Dodge and Saunders counties are still operating the old DHM, which limits restaurants to carry-out or delivery only among other restrictions. The current DHM, the text of which can be found on the COVID-19 page at, is set to run through May 31.

There were a few changes made statewide that do affect Dodge and Saunders counties as of May 4. Churches will be allowed to meet for worship as long as six feet separates households and nothing is passed between worshippers. Childcare facilities may host up to 10 children per room, and hospitals may resume elective surgeries as long as it has 30% bed availability.

Last week a mass testing event was held in Fremont, testing 94 individuals for COVID-19. Twenty-five tests came back positive, with 21 of those in Dodge County, more than doubling the county’s number of confirmed cases. Of the positives, 90% came from people who were in close contact with previously known COVID-19 cases, according to Three Rivers Health Department.

Governor Rickets also announced the #TestNebraskaChallenge last week, an effort to dramatically increase testing in the state. All Nebraskan’s are encouraged to go to and take a quick 5-minute assessment. This will help identify where testing needs to occur in the state. Testing should begin some time in the next week and will help better identify cases and who needs to be isolated.

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