City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response

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Face Covering Requirement for Lincoln and Lancaster County

Information and frequently asked questions

High Risk of COVID-19 Spread

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The dial's previous week pointer is at 7 on a scale of 1-8 (1 is low risk; 8 is severe risk). The dial's current week pointer is also at 7.
Severe High Moderate Low

This COVID-19 Risk Dial provides a summary of current conditions in the Lincoln-Lancaster County community. Each color incorporates federal and national guidance published by public health experts and is coupled with specific guidance.

Five key measures are used to determine the position of the Risk Dial: Case Numbers; Testing Capacity; Positivity Rate; Contact Tracing; and Hospital Capacity.

This is only guidance and does not replace federal, state, or local directed health measures. At-risk and vulnerable populations should take stringent precautions.

Community Guidance and Recommendations
Outside the Home
Physical Distancing Outside the Home
  • Limit activities outside the home, unless for work, school, medical care, or food
  • Distance at least 6 feet from anyone outside the home
  • Work from home if possible
  • Individual outdoor activities such as walking, biking, etc. are preferred
  • Smallest number of contacts feasible
  • Small gatherings and events only with modifications (i.e. physical distancing, face masks, etc.)
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Follow CDC Travel Guidelines
Face Masks Outside the Home
  • Face masks for anyone over 2 years old, when indoors or when physical distancing of greater than 6 feet is not possible.
Hand Washing Outside the Home
  • Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching high contact surfaces, sneezing/coughing/touching face, or before eating
  • Use hand sanitizer when handwashing is inaccessible or infeasible
Illness Monitoring Outside the Home
  • If ill with Flu-like or COVID-like symptoms, stay at home
  • Minimize contact with symptomatic people
  • Daily temperature checks at work
Disinfecting Outside the Home
  • Avoid bare hand contact with any high touch surface
  • Use barriers such as a paper towel or clothing when bare hand contact is unavoidable
  • Wash hands or apply sanitizer after touching high contact surfaces
  • Enhanced disinfection, especially for high contact surfaces (door/other handles, light switches, bathroom fixtures)
At Home
Physical Distancing at Home
  • No distancing for people without symptoms, unless they are under quarantine as a result of being exposed to someone who is infected
  • Quarantine and testing of symptomatic persons
  • Outdoor activities with members of your household are acceptable
  • Small gatherings with modifications (i.e. physical distancing, face masks, etc.), preferably outdoors
Face Masks at Home
  • No face masks for people without symptoms, unless they are under quarantine as a result of being exposed to someone who is infected
  • Face masks for symptomatic people
Hand Washing at Home
  • Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching high contact surfaces, sneezing/coughing/touching face, or before eating
Illness Monitoring at Home
  • Daily temperature check
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Contact healthcare provider if sick
  • Monitor the health of anyone in your home with COVID-like symptoms
Disinfecting at Home
  • Enhanced disinfection, especially for high contact surfaces (door/other handles, light switches, bathroom fixtures)
At-Risk and
Vulnerable Populations

For adults over age 65, anyone with underlying health conditions, and other populations at heightened risk from COVID-19:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Rely on help for needs outside the home (groceries, medications, etc.)
  • Distance from those working outside of the home
  • Wear a face mask around others
COVID-19 Vaccine
I got my COVID-19 vaccine badge

A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine plays a critical role in providing protection against the virus, preventing illness and saving lives. Every resident is encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available to them.

Due to a limited supply, health officials are vaccinating people in phases. As supply increases, more people will be able to receive the vaccine.

Currently Vaccinating – Phase 1A
  • Frontline health care personnel
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities

The vaccine will soon be available for others who are in Phase 1A, including home health and hospice care providers, school nurses, dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants.

LLCHD and community partners are actively planning for the vaccination of people in Phase 1B which includes people age 65 and older, people with certain underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC that increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and essential workers. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

The vaccine is not yet available to the general public. LLCHD is working with partners on plans for public vaccination clinics once the COVID-19 vaccine is more widely available.

LLCHD added vaccination data to its COVID-19 dashboard. Lancaster County residents can now track the progress of COVID-19 vaccine efforts at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19dashboard.

Vaccinating Lancaster County’s entire population will take time. Health officials stress that residents must continue to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community by wearing masks, watching their distance, washing hands, and avoiding crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for You and Your Family

Visit Business Resources for business reopening guidance and recommendations.

Free Drive-Through Testing

The CDC has expanded the list of symptoms for COVID-19 to include these:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Repeated muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Those who experience any of these symptoms are urged to access drive-through testing offered by Bryan Health, CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Test Nebraska.

Residents begin the testing process with a free online risk assessment available at BryanHealth.com, CHIHealth.com or TestNebraska.com.

If testing is recommended, individuals will be given an order and referred to one of the testing sites. Only those with an order and referral from Bryan Health, CHI Health St. Elizabeth or Test Nebraska or an order from their doctor are permitted at the drive-through sites. Those who need assistance may contact the Health Department at 402-441-8006.

If you currently have no symptoms, you do not need to contact your health care provider or use the online screening tool at this time. However, please keep your essential medical appointments, and if you have a true emergency, call 911 for assistance.

Lincoln-Lancaster County Directed Health Measures

Those with questions about the Directed Health Measures should contact LLCHD at 402-441-6280.

New Local Directed Health Measure in effect
Friday, January 22
Face coverings required in indoor spaces

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has issued a local Directed Health Measure (DHM) that states any individual or entity which owns or operates any premises other than a residence, including but not limited to private and public educational institutions or school districts, shall require all individuals age five (5) and older to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while indoors unless the individual is able to and maintains at least six (6) feet of separation at all times and is not in the same room or workspace from anyone else who is not their household member. The DHM also requires business owners to ensure their patrons age five and older wear face coverings any time they cannot maintain six feet of separation with non-household members.

The DHM goes into effect Friday, January 22 and continues until February 19.

The DHM includes exceptions. Masks are not required for the following:

  • Is engaged in federal, state, or county government services in the location those services are provided;
  • Is engaged in exercise and six (6) feet of separation can be maintained at all times;
  • Is engaged in an occupation preventing the wearing of a face covering;
  • Is obtaining a service or purchasing goods or services that requires the temporary removal of the face covering during the service or the purchase;
  • Is giving a speech, lecture, or broadcast to an audience so long as six (6) feet of distancing from other individuals is maintained and only while said speech, lecture, or broadcast is being delivered; or,
  • Cannot otherwise wear a face covering because of a medical condition, a mental health condition, or a disability that prevents the wearing of a face covering.

The City will continue to focus on education rather than enforcement, but will prosecute repeated offenses or deliberate non-compliance. Those who observe suspected violations should not call the Police or Sheriff's 911 or non-emergency numbers. Those lines of communication must remain open for emergencies. Those situations should be reported to UPLNK either through the phone app or online at UPLNK.lincoln.ne.gov. Businesses with questions on the DHM may call 402-441-6280.

Visit Business Resources for business reopening guidance and recommendations.

Effective January 22, 2021
Gatherings
  • Limited to no more than 50% of rated occupancy indoors and 75% of rated occupancy in confined outdoor spaces (not to exceed 10,000 individuals either indoors or outdoors)
  • Large events (more than 500 people) may resume after event approval is received from the LLCHD
Restaurants, bars and other food service establishments
  • Parties to continue to consist of 8 or fewer individuals and must remain 6 feet apart
  • Occupancy remains limited to 50%
  • Individuals must remain seated unless ordering food or drinks, using the restroom, or participating in games
  • Individuals not seated at tables must wear face coverings
  • Establishments may now remain open and serve alcohol at all times pursuant to existing local and state law
Pedal pubs and party buses
  • Licensed companies allowing consumption of alcohol while on city streets may resume operation at 50% capacity.
  • Operators must maintain a list of passengers for 21 days and provide that list to the LLCHD upon request to assist with contact tracing.
Youth Sports
  • Each participant may have 2 spectators
  • Venues may seek LLCHD approval to allow additional spectators per participant if the specific venue can accommodate the increased capacity
  • Groups of spectators may not be larger than 8 individuals and spectators/groups of spectators must maintain 6 feet of distancing from others
Childcare
Gyms
  • Occupancy allowed at 50%
  • Indoor team (2 or more people), contact or limited contact sports, continues to be allowed (i.e. basketball, volleyball) with additional safeguards in place including:
    • Wearing face coverings unless that individual is actively engaged in an activity that would prevent wearing the face covering and they are not at rest
    • Limiting spectators to no more than 4 per activity participant
    • Groups of spectators may not be larger than 8 individuals and spectators/groups of spectators must maintain 6 feet of distancing from others
Barber shops, cosmetology establishments, body art facilities, and massage therapists
  • Barber shops, cosmetology establishments, body art facilities, and massage therapists may operate but shall abide by the restriction against gatherings. A minimum of 6 feet shall be maintained between all workstations. Employees and patrons must wear face coverings. Aestheticians, body art establishments, barbers and, cosmetologists may remove customer face coverings to perform services on the customer’s face.
Door to door sales
  • Door to door sales may resume, and Peddler’s Permits may be issued
  • All individuals conducting door to door sales shall wear face coverings and abide by “No Solicitation” posting at any residence

Private and public educational institutions or school districts are excepted from the prohibition on gatherings during any in-person education.

Exceptions for gathering limitations have also been established for certain essential businesses (such as schools, grocery and retail stores, office environments, factories, etc.). A complete list can be found in the DHM.

Those who observe suspected violations should not call the Police or Sheriff's 911 or non-emergency numbers. Those situations should be reported to UPLNK either through the phone app or online at UPLNK.lincoln.ne.gov. The initial response to any complaint will be handled by LLCHD. Health officials will provide education to those who need it about why compliance is so vital to our community's safety. UPLNK cases are acknowledged when staff receive and enter them. They are closed after they have been dispatched and investigated.


State of Nebraska

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