Nebraska could soon relax virus restrictions further

Nebraska News

Signs encourage the wearing of face masks Thursday, June 18, 2020, at a Sarpy County office in Papillion, Neb., where face covering is recommended but not mandatory. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has told local officials they would not receive any of the $100 million allotted to Nebraska in an economic rescue law if they require the public to wear masks in courthouses and other government buildings. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska may soon relax its social distancing restrictions again because the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has continued to decline.

Gov. Pete Ricketts has said he will relax those restrictions if there are consistently less than 15% of the state’s hospital beds occupied by virus patients.

Currently, 14% of Nebraska’s staffed hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, and that number has remained below 15% for six days in a row.

The state said the number of people being treated in hospitals declined again Tuesday to 566 from the previous day’s 582. That total remains well below the record of 987 set on Nov. 20.

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