Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

The Soft Opening Begins

Restaurants, Churches, Hair Cutters Get A Bit Of A Green Light


May 7, 2020

Daria Anderson-Faden / The Observer

Enjoying the new reduction in pandemic restrictions at The Diner in Kimball are friends Marcia Harroun, Barb Barker and Merry Ann Tomich. Wendy Baker was also in attendance at the their regular Monday lunch group but is not pictured.

COVID-19 restrictions have been partially lifted for Kimball County and the Panhandle Public Health District. This soft opening of local restaurants, beauty shops and churches require limiting the capacity and other requirements.

Restaurants are limited to 50% occupancy, beauty and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services can open but must follow the 10-person rule and individuals must wear masks.

Churches and other places of worship have been given the OK for services, funerals and weddings, but they must meet a minimum of six feet of separation.

Hospitals are back in business with elective surgeries and dental officers, eye care and veterinary clinics can also reopen.

Locally, Kimball Kruise night on Friday, May 8 will celebrate the 2020 high school seniors. Kiwanis of Kimball and Banner Counties has organized the event. The senior parade will begin at 7 p.m. and run from Washington Street to the stoplight.

Nebraska elections will continue throughout the state as planned for the May 12 primary although thousands of people have already returned their early voting ballots.

May 1 was the final day to request a ballot be mailed, but the polls will be open in Kimball at the former Kimball Event Center, now known as the Sagebrush, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12.

As of Tuesday morning, May5, the Panhandle has had 1,063 individuals tested and 55 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 – and 37 of those have recovered.

While the Panhandle continues to have a number of new cases of the coronavirus – mainly in Scottsbluff, Morrill and Cheyenne counties – Kimball County has not recorded a positive test since the beginning of April. Officials encourage residents to wear masks, continue hand washing, using hand sanitizer and monitoring symptoms.

High touch areas, according to PPHD, are a concern and people are discouraged from engaging in activities that involve high touch area, such as pool tables and games, although Keno has the OK.

The state of Nebraska has more that 6,000 positive cases and is inching toward the triple digits in fatalities.

The 12 packing plants in Nebraska are struggling with the spread of the virus. Especially hard hit is Dakota County in the northeast corner of Nebraska. The Tyson beef processing plant is responsible for a large number of cases.


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