City of Kearney COVID-19 Response

Updates: COVID-19


Emergency Ordinance No. 8457, requiring individuals to wear facial coverings, has expired as of 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23. Although the mandate is no longer in effect, City Council still strongly encourages the use of face coverings while in public area where 6 ft. cannot be maintained. 

Please email if you are needing assistance.

COVID-19 Safety Resources

View printable signs to be used for your business’ reopening efforts here.

November 17, 2020 - MASK ORDINANCE 

Kearney City Council voted unanimously to pass a city-wide mask ordinance. For more information, including printable signage, and to view the ordinance click here.

November 10, 2020

This morning, Governor Pete Ricketts announced new Directed Health Measures (DHMs) that will take effect statewide on Wednesday, November 11.  The measures are being implemented in response to rising hospitalizations across the state in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

 An outline of these changes, and additional DHM changes, is available by clicking here.

November 9, 2020

Free face masks for small businesses. 

Wearing masks is a critical tool in curbing the transmission of COVID-19. By wearing masks, individuals are communicating care for the health of those around them. We know at times patrons and employees may forget to wear their masks when in public settings. We hope that this limited supply of extra resources might assist our small business communities' ability to offer a masks to patrons or employees when needed. 

Please email Michaella Bendfeldt to reserve your face masks. Pick-up will be in the lobby at City Hall.

Limit 100 masks per business.

October 15, 2020

The Kearney Public Library will reopen to the public at 9:00 a.m. on October 19 and is strongly encouraging patrons to wear masks when visiting the Library. Masks are available free of charge at both entrances. We also ask that patrons social distance from staff and stay in front of the shields. Please be aware, that we can only offer limited technical assistance and cannot handle your phones and other devices.

Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for staff and patrons during this pandemic while still offering the highest level of service possible and an enjoyable place to visit and study. If we all continue to do our part, we can all get through this together.

October 12, 2020

Due to the increase in local COVID-19 positive cases, the City of Kearney would like to remind citizens to call, email or use online services when available to limit access to City Hall and other City buildings.

Please review the following updates from City Departments in regards to COVID-19 precautions:

City Hall 

Services available from offices located in City Hall, including Finance, Development Services and Administration, will be available by appointment only. 

Please contact Departments within City Hall to make an appointment:

    Administration (308) 233-3215

    Development Services (308) 233-3234

    Finance (308) 233-3240 or (308) 233-3221

Kearney Public Library

Kearney Public Library will be closed to the public effective Tuesday, October 13. In an effort to continue to serve the public while the building remains closed, the library is continuing curb-side pickup. Patrons may place items on hold to be picked up curbside.

    Patrons may place items on hold via phone, website, and the mykpl app.

    Once items have been pulled you will be notified by text, email or phone (whatever you have chosen).

    Patrons should call the library when they arrive outside the west doors.

    Items may be picked up Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Service is limited to up to 20 items at a time.

    Be prepared to show us your library card or photo I.D. when picking up items.

    Returns or fine payments will not be part of curbside pick-up service. Late fees are being suspended until the library reopens.

    Please do not use this service if you think you are sick.

To place holds by phone or for more information please call us at 308-233-3282. Information on digital services can be found at The Bookmobile will continue normal operation. 

Public Works

Effective Monday, October 12, the City of Kearney Public Works Department, located at 1919 15th Avenue, is closed to the public. 


Effective Monday, October 12, the City of Kearney Utilities Department, located at 1220 E 26th Street, is closed to the public. 

We strongly encourage citizens to wear face coverings and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

October 5, 2020

Halloween Safety Resources

Basic COVID-19 Safety Recommendations:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth UNDER your costume mask.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Maintain at least six foot distancing from others.

If you are sick, stay home and don’t prepare or distribute treats. Older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions or who are at a higher risk for COVID-19, should consider not participating in activities. Additional recommendations include:


  • Keep groups to eight or less.
  • Use hand sanitizer while out and wash hands when you return home.
  • Don’t eat candy while trick-or-treating.

Handing out Treats

  • Wash hands before touching treats.
  • If possible, put treats in prepackaged bags.
  • Don’t allow children to reach into the treat bowl.
  • Be creative with physical distancing. Stay on the porch and line-up treat bags or use plastic or cardboard pipe to make a six-foot-long chute.
  • Use tape or chalk to mark six-foot lines on sidewalks in front of homes and leading to doorsteps.

Trunk-or-Treat Events

  • Consider a drive through-style event.
  • Consider a timed ticketed event that promotes correct distancing.
  • Don’t eat candy during the event.
  • Use hand sanitizer and wash your hands when you return home.
  • Neighborhood Halloween Celebrations and Parties
  • Toss candy from six feet away to children who remain on the sidewalks.
  • Set up curbside/drive through treat pickup sites.
  • Try a reverse trick-or-treat that lets children stand in front of their houses as treat bags are distributed to them.
  • Keep gatherings outdoors and limit participation to eight guests or less.

May 28, 2020

View the City of Kearney COVID-19 Press Conference Summary here.

May 1, 2020

Directed Health Measure extended until May 31,2020.

View guidelines for the conduct of faith-based services including weddings and funerals held in houses of worship here.

April 3, 2020

Meadowlark Hills Golf Course is closed until further notice.

Mayor Clouse and City Manager, Michael W. Morgan, provided a State of the City update. You can view the document here.

April 2, 2020

Additional Directed Health Measures Enacted

The additional DHM includes requirements where a minimum social distance of six feet between attendees at gatherings must be maintained. This requirement includes but is not limited to beauty salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, message therapy offices and other businesses in the beauty service industry. View our full Directed Health Measure Q & A.

Peterson Senior Center; Deb Eirich, (308) 233-3290

The meal program offered at the Peterson Senior Activity Center will end on Friday, April 3, until further notice.   Patrons are encouraged to utilize the Hot Meals program.  Meals are free and can be picked up at the Museum of Nebraska Art, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday.  Meals are also being delivered throughout Kearney.  Contact the Jubilee Center, at 308-234-3880, by 1:30 p.m. the day before, for Hot Meals delivery.

Sanitation; Steve Hart, (308) 233-3206

The City of Kearney Sanitation and Recycling Division would like assistance from the community to better protect Sanitation and Recycling employees.  Starting immediately, all customers that are experiencing the symptoms or are quarantined due to the coronavirus should double bag all infectious waste products such as: facial tissues, sanitary wipes, diapers, and other items that the person having symptoms has utilized.

Additionally, if this person’s household participates in the city’s recycling program, they should immediately suspend their recycling effort and continue this suspension for at least 2 weeks after all members of the residence are clear of the virus symptoms.  All material that would normally be recycled should be placed in the household refuse container.  These efforts are to reduce the spread of the virus by contact of items that may have been exposed to the virus from the carrier.  The City of Kearney realizes that the recycling program is very important but due to the health concerns, the city feels these steps are needed to protect everyone.

The Sanitation and Recycling Division greatly appreciates everyone’s assistance in helping control the spread of the virus.  Please continue to monitor the media for any other news releases notifying customers of changes within service policies.

April 1, 2020

Park & Recreation; Scott Hayden, (308) 233-3228

Playgrounds are now closed until further notice.  Park benches and outdoor equipment should be avoided until further notice, because it is not feasible to clean and sanitize on a regular basis.  All park restrooms will remain closed until further notice.  

Kearney Police Department; Bryan D. Waugh, (308) 233-5265

In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Kearney Police Department and Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office are changing the way we accept and handle applications for Firearms Purchase Certificates. Walk-In requests for Firearms Purchase Certificates are no longer accepted. These steps are being taken to limit the need for citizens to visit the Law Enforcement Center. Application packets are now located in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – Noon, or online. The online option is the preferred method to obtain the application packet. The packet includes instructions on how to fill out the application, information about what documentation is needed, a contact sheet for the applicant name and phone number, as well as the application itself. Once complete, the application should be mailed back to the address provided with appropriate payment method. 

Online Kearney Applications and instructions are available by visiting and returning the application by mail. 

Online Buffalo County Applications and instructions are available by visiting and returning the application by mail. 

March 31, 2020

Confirmed Community Spread of COVID-19 and Directed Health Measures

A community-transmitted case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was identified in Buffalo County. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials are unable to identify how or where they became infected.

In coordination with the office of Governor Pete Ricketts, Two Rivers Public Health Department will be enacting Directed Health Measures on all seven counties in the district.  These counties include Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps.

Directed Health Measures impose enforceable limits on public gatherings. Directed Health Measures require restaurants and bars to close dining areas immediately and move to take out service, delivery, and/or curbside services only until further notice.  In accordance with these measures, schools are directed to operate without students in the buildings, but allows school staff to continue working within the building. These directed health measures do not apply to daycares per executive order, which can be found here.

Who does the Directed Health Measure apply to?

It applies to places such as theaters, churches, houses of worship, gyms, social clubs, salons, and social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and athletic events. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM applies to.

Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant?

At bars and restaurants, it applies to patrons, not to your workforce. Restaurants and bars are encouraged to ask their patrons if they can prepare their order for takeout upon arrival. Restaurants will play a key part in feeding people throughout the pandemic.

Do I need to shut down my daycare?

No. DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow. You can find it by clicking here.

City of Kearney

City Clerk, Lauren Brandt, (308) 233-3216

Kearney City Council will host a Special City Council meeting on Friday, April 3 at 12:00 p.m. To access this meeting please use the following information:

Using GoToMeeting (no account/subscription/payment required):

• View from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

• View through the GoToMeeting App: 773-693-677 (known as the Meeting ID)

• Listen to audio only through your phone: 1-224-501-3412

  • Access Code: 773-693-677 followed by the pound or hash sign

Information Technology; Nate Mollring, (308) 234-8082

Kearney Public Library has installed a dedicated WiFi for the public that covers the west parking lot.  Also, WiFi is available at Kearney Public Library in the North and East parking areas.  In addition, the following locations have low strength/bandwidth WiFi near the main building at each location:

Baldwin Park

Centennial Pool

Harmon Park Activity Center

Memorial Ball Field

Patriot Park

West Lincoln Park

Yanney Park

Kearney Public Library; Matthew Williams, (308) 233-3280

To ensure the health and safety of library staff and citizens, Kearney Public Library will remain closed through May 10, 2020.  The book drop will remain closed and we will not be accepting returns.  No fines will accrue during the closing.

We will continue our online presence, including the online catalog and online databases, as well as access to Overdrive and RBdigital for eBooks and downloadable audio books. Phone access for staff help will also be available. Staff will also be creating more online activities for the public using our YouTube channel and Facebook.

March 25, 2020

City of Kearney offices will be closed on Fridays. Hours will be Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. until further notice. During open hours, offices will remain closed to the public.

Park & Recreation

Although City of Kearney parks remain open for outdoor activities and exercise, users are advised to avoid contact with common surfaces such as playground equipment, benches, and sports equipment.  Plastic is used extensively within City of Kearney playgrounds and COVID-19 can live up to three days on its surface, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, Centers of Disease Control (CDC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Princeton University scientists in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Patrons are also advised to practice social distancing while utilizing the parks and the trails.   Drinking fountains will remain off until further notice.  The restrooms at the Harmon Activity Center, ERC Building at Yanney Park, and Cottonmill Lodge will remain open for the time being, and are accessible from the outside.  All other park restrooms will remain closed until further notice. Please contact the Kearney Park and Recreation Department, at (308) 237-4644, for further information.

March 23, 2020

In an effort to assist our citizens, the City of Kearney has created a direct email address for all inquiries related to COVID-19. Utilizing this email address will allow City staff to respond directly to each email and provide resources needed for citizens whether it be from the City or surrounding organizations whom are providing aid to those in need.

“We are committed to providing resources to our community” said City Manager, Mike Morgan. “Providing an outlet where our citizens can connect directly to City staff is a great way to keep our communication open and allows us the opportunity to connect those in need to resources we know are available throughout our community.”

Mayor, Stan Clouse added, “We are exceptionally proud of how the community has stepped up and come together to help those in need.”

Please email if you are needing assistance.


To ensure the health and safety of library staff and citizens, we will be no longer be offering curbside-pickup as of Wednesday, March 25, at noon.  We will also be locking our book drop and will not be accepting returns.  No fines will accrue during the closing.

We will continue our online presence, including the online catalog and online databases, as well as access to Overdrive and RBdigital for eBooks and downloadable audio books. Phone access for staff help will also be available.

March 19, 2020

On March 17, 2020 Governor Ricketts issued an executive order permitting local governmental boards, commissions and other public bodies to meet by videoconference, teleconference or other electronic means through May 31, 2020. As a result, the following public meetings will be conducted through teleconference means and will not be held in Council Chambers located in City Hall:

• Kearney Planning Commission scheduled for 9:00 a.m., Friday, March 20, 2020; and

• Kearney City Council scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

How are these meetings available to public?

• Using a phone, call (224) 501-3412. You will be prompted to provide the following access code: 773-693-677 by using your phone’s keypad.

For more information about this public meeting process, view the Press Release here.

March 18, 2020

Effective at 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020, all City of Kearney offices are closed to the public until further notice. The only expections are the Cemetery Office, Fire Department Lobby and the Law Enforcement Center.

During this time we encourage citizens to call or email if you need assistance. 

Important Phone Numbers:

City Hall (General Information): (308) 233-3215

Finance: (308) 233-3240 and (308) 233-3221

Development Services: (308) 233-3232

Park & Recreation: (308) 237-4644

Cemetery: (308) 233-3244

Peterson Senior Center: (308) 233-3290

Utilities: (308) 233-3259

The City of Kearney promotes – SLOW THE SPREAD – PHONE FIRST

March 17, 2020


On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the City of Kearney declared a Local State of Emergency due to the threat of COVID-19 and is implementing additional closures and safety measures in order to slow the spread of the virus.


The City of Kearney has prepared a written document for citizens to reference in regards to the changes to our programs in facilities in response to COVID-19.

City of Kearney Press Conference: Tuesday, March 17, 2020