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We want to hear from you! As Local health departments like Central District Health Department and the state prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important that we know how Nebraskans like you feel about what's happening.  We would appreciate you taking time to respond to this short survey.  This is not a scientific survey, however, it will be used for market research.  This survey will close on Friday, December 4, 2020.  Please click here to get started.  Thank you for your time.


If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow this CDC guidance:

Steps to take if exposed to COVID-19 during a holiday gathering:

If you are exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday gathering, while traveling, or at any time, quarantine yourself to protect others by doing the following:

Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.

Stay away from others, especially people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Watch for fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

Consider getting tested for COVID-19. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should still stay home (quarantine) for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. This is because symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and some infected people never have symptoms but are still contagious.

Do not travel until 14 days after your last possible exposure.

If you can’t completely stay away from others during the 14 days:

Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) away from other people.

Wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose when you are around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Monitor yourself and household members for symptoms of COVID-19.

Get information about COVID-19 testing if you feel sick.

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of the event or celebration, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you test positive for COVID-19, immediately notify the host and others who attended. They may need to inform other attendees about their possible exposure to the virus. Contact your healthcare provider and follow the CDC-recommended steps for what to do if you become sick, and follow the public health recommendations for community-related exposure.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may contact you to check on your health and ask you who you have been in contact with and where you’ve spent time in order to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected. Your information will be confidential.


Duration of the Mask Ordinance

This order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on November 28, 2020 and will extend until February 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., unless otherwise extended by ordinance of the City Council.

Grand Island Mask Policy FAQ

Q: What is considered a face covering?

A: A face covering or mask is defined as a covering which, when worn properly, must cover the nose and mouth completely and can include a paper or disposable face mask, cloth face mask, scarf, bandana, neck gaiter, or a religious face covering. Medical-grade masks and respirators are sufficient face coverings, but to preserve adequate supplies, their purchase and use is discouraged for those who do not work in a health care setting or in other occupations that require medical-grade personal protective equipment. Masks that incorporate a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow exhaled droplets to be released into the air. For more information on mask material, proper use, washing and care, please go to:

Q. How do masks work?

A: Masks work in two ways. When we breathe out: Cloth masks not only effectively block most large droplets, but they can also block the fine droplets and particles called aerosols. Upwards of 80% blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets. In some studies, cloth masks perform as well as surgical masks as barriers for source control.
When we breathe in: Multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers of cloth with lower thread counts, in some cases filtering nearly 50% of fine particles less than 1 micron. Masks help keep us from breathing in the virus.

Q. Why do I have to wear a mask?

A: We are in the midst of a pandemic where the virus is spreading rapidly. Masks help to control the spread. The universal use of masks combined with keeping distance from others, washing hands frequently and well, using hand sanitizer, staying home when sick and following quarantine and isolation orders from the health department will help us get through the pandemic and to a time when vaccine is available.

Q: When do I have to wear a mask?

A: All individuals age five and older shall wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while indoors in a premises open to the general public unless the that individual maintains a minimum of six feet of separation or social distance at all times from anyone who is not a member of the individual's household.

Q: What businesses does this include?

A: Businesses that are open to the general public. This means all entities that employ or engage workers, including private and public businesses, nonprofits, private clubs, religious centers, public transportation, educational institutions, and daycare facilities.

Q: Where and when are masks NOT required to be worn?

A: You are not required to wear a mask if you are:

-seeking federal, state, or county services; or

-seated at a bar or restaurant or other location to eat or drink 

-working at a job that prevents the wearing of a face covering; or 

-using a service or buying goods or services that requires the temporary removal of the face covering; or

-asked to remove a face covering to verify an identity for lawful purposes; or

-providing a speech, lecture, or broadcast to an audience so long as six feet of distance from others is maintained; or

-cannot otherwise wear a face covering because of a medical condition, a mental health condition, or a disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to  wear a face covering.

Q:  Do I need a mask at the gym:

A: You are required to wear a mask inside gyms and fitness centers. You can take off your mask if the level of exertion makes it difficult to wear a face covering, BUT you must maintain six feet of separation. Masks are not required when swimming.

Q: What if a mask makes my job dangerous?

A: You do not need to wear a mask if doing so would create a job hazard as determined by federal, state, or local regulators or workplace safety and health standards and guidelines.

Q: Do children need to wear masks in public?

A: Children under the age of five are exempt from the mask requirement. Three and four-year-old children who can safely remove their face masks can wear masks, but children age two and younger should NOT EVER wear a face mask.

Q: How should business owners get the word out about the mask policy?

A: Each business is responsible for posting their own sign that is visible to the public. Click here to access a printable sign.

Q: What should I do if I see a person not wearing a mask in a business where a sign for mask wearing is posted?

A: The ordinance states that business owners have a duty to require mask compliance inside their business. If you observe a fellow patron who is not wearing a mask, you may report this to the business owner or manager on duty. You should not directly confront that patron.

Q: Who is responsible for assuring compliance to the ordinance?

A: Business owners are responsible for compliance to the ordinance. The business owner should ask the patron to wear a mask. It the patron refuses, the business owner should ask the patron to leave. The business owner who willingly allows patrons to remain inside without a mask is in violation of the ordinance. The patron who refuses to mask or to leave if requested is in violation of the ordinance. This may result in criminal charges.

Q: What is the penalty for violating the mask policy?

A: Violation is defined as a misdemeanor in section §1-2 of Grand Island City Code. It comes with a minimum fine of $25 for each offense, and each instance can be considered to be a separate offense.

Q: What if I have a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask?

A: Under this city ordinance, if you are unable to wear a mask because of a medical or mental health condition, or a disability that makes it unreasonable for you to wear a mask, you may find it convenient to get a note from your physician to make interactions with businesses easier, but it is not required. However, businesses can choose to have stronger mask requirements than the ordinance, meaning individual businesses can require you to wear a mask inside regardless of medical condition. It's best to check with the individual business before arriving.

Q: What other exceptions are there?

A: If you are alone in any of the following: office, room, a vehicle, the cab of heavy equipment or machinery, or an enclosed work area, you may remove your mask. Please remember to keep your face covering with you to be prepared for person-to-person interactions and to be used when you are no longer alone.

A: Masks do not need to be worn by public safety workers actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, or emergency medical personnel, in situations where wearing a face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of the individual's public safety responsibilities.


About the Data 

This dashboard is developed using data obtained by the Central District Health Department (CDHD).  

Note on data updates: Case data (total number of confirmed cases, new cases in last 14 days, recoveries, deaths) are updated three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) around 5:00pm CT. Testing data (total number of tested and positives, and positivity rates) and the risk dial are updated once a week (Mondays) around 5:00pm CT.  

All data are provisional and subject to change. As local public health departments, including CDHD, and laboratories identify new information about cases, there will be corrections that result in changes to this data. Changes may include a small increase or decrease in cumulative counts or counts on prior days. Changes to the data are often the result of transferring cases to the appropriate county, delays in receiving testing results, and/or availability of new/updated data. The appropriate county is determined during the public health investigation of each case. If a positive case is reported and it is determined that the person is not a resident of that particular county, it is transferred to the appropriate county and counted in that local public health department’s cases. Updates may also be made if “unknown” data such as age or gender are replaced with corrected information. 

Note on county-level data: The difference between the CDHD dashboard and other reporting sources may be the result of a variety of reasons such as in delays in reporting and updating at the state level, delays in receiving test results from laboratories, use of different data sources, use of different reporting practices, etc. As stated on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) webpage, in the event of a discrepancy between DHHS cases and cases reported by local health department officials, data reported by the local health department should be considered the most up to date. 

Note on testing: Testing data includes results from both the state public health laboratory and reference laboratories for tests conducted for individuals that reside the CDHD district. Due to delays in receiving test results and the transferring of cases to the individual’s county of permanent residence, numbers may differ slightly from day to day. “Total tested” includes the total number of individuals tested, not the total number of tests conducted and regardless of the result of the test(s).  

Note on reported positive cases: A positive case is defined as a person with a COVID-19 positive laboratory result. Positive cases are reported to CDHD as soon as results are available. There may be a lag in the reporting. Case counts may differ slightly from day to day or may change on prior days as public health investigations identify new information. At this time, individuals who test positive multiple times are not counted more than once in the total “confirmed cases.” Research shows that a person can test positive for an extended period of time after their initial positive test because of the high level of antibodies that are present in the body despite no longer being contagious or symptomatic. CDHD reviews the data regularly to ensure each person is only counted once. If a person tests positive for COVID but later passes away, their case is still included in the total “confirmed cases” count. 

Note on percent positivity: This percentage is derived using the number of positive tests performed divided by the total number of tests performed each week (Saturday through Sunday). Tests are collated according to the date the specimen was collected; therefore, past data will fluctuate. 

Note on reported recovered cases: Recovered cases are defined as persons reporting that either their symptoms are gone or their illness has ended when interviewed during a case investigation as well as persons still alive at least 30 days after their initial positive test for COVID-19. 

Note on county with positive cases in the last 14 days: The date range for the number of new cases in the past 14 days is based on the date of the last update. For example, if the number of new cases displayed on CDHD’s dashboard on September 10 was ‘105,’ and September 9 was the last posted update, this 14-day range would include all positive cases between August 27-September 9.  

Note on the COVID Risk Dial: This COVID-19 Risk Dial provides a summary of current conditions in the CDHD district community. Each color incorporates federal and national guidance published by public health experts and is coupled with specific guidance; to view the actions you should take in response to the risk dial color, please visit: “Risk Dial Guidance.” The risk dial number is calculated each week and is updated on Mondays around 4:00pm. A total of eight key measures are used to determine the position of the risk dial: (1) current overall positivity rate, (2) current weekly positivity rate, (3) the positivity rate within the past 14 days, (4) number of available adult intensive care units (ICU) at hospitals in the CDHD jurisdiction within the past 7 days (5) number of available ventilators at hospitals in the CDHD jurisdiction within the past 7 days (6) community spread (defined as transmission of an illness for which the source is unknown) within the past 7 days, (7) testing availability based on number of facilities offering COVID tests and testing supplies within the past 7 days, and (8) the volume of contact tracing conducted in a 24 hour period within the past 7 days. These indicators are ranked objectively (using report data) and subjectively (by a group of public health experts who provide additional community perspective), then averaged to produce the final number risk dial number. 

Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2:



The new Directed Health Measures for Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties go into effect at 12:01 A.M. on November 11, 2020 and continue through November 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless they get renewed, extended, or terminated by a subsequent order.




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If you are planning an event, please click on this link to complete a survey.

This link is very useful in looking at information on how COVID-19 is impacting communities across our country and across the world. You can look at your destination and prepare for taking precautions (such as wearing masks, etc.).


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