City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
What's Happening Now
COVID-19 Vaccine Registration and Scheduling
Sign up and schedule your appointment
Regístrese y programe su cita
سجل وجدولة موعدك
Đăng ký và lên lịch cuộc hẹn của bạn
Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
- Friday, May 14, Pinnacle Bank Arena
- Saturday, May 15, Pinnacle Bank Arena
- Sunday, May 16, Cristo Rey Church
- Monday May 17, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
- Tuesday, May 18, "F" Street Community Center; Gateway Mall
- Wednesday, May 19, Gateway Mall
- Thursday, May 20, Pinnacle Bank Arena
- Friday, May 21, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
- Saturday, May 22, Gateway Mall
Face Covering Requirement for Lincoln and Lancaster County
Information and frequently asked questions
Viruses constantly change and a variant is a new form of a virus. Several COVID-19 variants have been found in the United States. These variants have been identified in Nebraska through special testing at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory:
- B.1.1.7 - U.K. variant - 93 cases in Lancaster County
- B.1.351 - South Africa variant - 2 cases in Lancaster County
- B.1.427/B.1.429 - California variants - 10 cases in Lancaster County
- B.1.523 - New York variant
- B.1.617 - 1 case in Lancaster County
- P.1 - Brazil variant
Variants can spread more easily and quickly and they can lead to more cases of COVID-19. It’s critical to continue to take preventive actions to control the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in our community, which includes getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to you.
Data so far suggests the current vaccines should still provide protection against variants, although research is ongoing. Health officials strongly encourage residents to take these preventive actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask.
- Watch your distance and stay at least six feet away from others.
- Wash your hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Avoid crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.
- Get vaccinated as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is available to you.
To learn more about variants, visit Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 - CDC.
Moderate Risk of COVID-19 Spread
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.
The Risk Dial was developed to help communicate the risk of spread and impact of COVID-19 in the community. Since its inception in May 2020, five primary metrics were used based on local data: Positivity Rate, Cases, Testing, Contact Tracing, and Health Care System Capacity. Two additional metrics were recently added - Vaccination Rate and Death Rate. Data on these two metrics were not available during development of the risk dial, but now we better understand local risk for COVID deaths and can track the progress of vaccinations.
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 of the home
- Distance at least 6 feet from anyone outside the home
- Work from home when possible
- Individual outdoor activities such as walking, biking, etc. are acceptable
- Cautious expansion of interactions with others, outdoor activities preferred
- Gatherings and events only with modifications (i.e. physical distancing, face masks, etc.)
- 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)
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 distancing are acceptable.
Face Coverings 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
Illness Monitoring at Home
- Monitor for COVID-like symptoms
Disinfecting at Home
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
Avoid the Three Cs
- Crowded Places
- Close Contact
- Confined Spaces
Find out what you can do to help stop the spread
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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Repeated muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Those who experience any of these symptoms are urged to access drive-through testing offered by CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Test Nebraska, or visit a Bryan Urgent Care location.
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 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.
Local Directed Health Measure in effect
Friday, April 23
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, which includes the mask mandate, goes into effect Friday, April 23 and continues until May 21.
The DHM includes exceptions. Masks are not required for the following:
- If individuals are in an area that is not otherwise open to the general public, such as a private office or breakroom, and if every individual is fully vaccinated, they will no longer have to wear a face covering. This will allow fully vaccinated people to meet without face coverings even if 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained.
- 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 April 23, 2021
- The mask mandate continues to be in effect, but a new exception has been added. If individuals are in an area that is not otherwise open to the general public, such as a private office or breakroom, and if every individual is fully vaccinated, they will no longer have to wear a face covering, even if six feet of separation cannot be maintained. This will allow fully vaccinated people to meet in the same conference room or work in the same office without wearing a face covering as long as everyone is fully vaccinated and the area is not open to the public.
- Limiting groups of individuals to no more than eight or maintaining six feet separation between individuals or groups has been changed from a requirement to guidance. This applies to gatherings, youth activities and sports, food establishments and bars, barber shops, cosmetology establishments, cosmetologists and estheticians, body art facilities, and massage therapy.
- Events at venues with occupancy of more than 500 people still require approval from LLCHD.
Restaurants, bars and other food service establishments
- Occupancy at restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments continues to be 75 percent of occupancy, but the limiting groups of individuals to no more than eight or maintaining separation between individuals or groups has been changed from a requirement to guidance. Individuals must continue to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.
- For youth sports, there is no longer a limitation on the number of spectators allowed per participant, but occupancy is limited to 75 percent. Limiting spectator group size and maintaining separation between spectators has been changed from a requirement to guidance. Spectators must continue to wear masks indoors and are encouraged to wear them outdoors.
- Occupancy at gyms continues to be 75 percent, but maintaining six feet of separation between individuals has been moved from a requirement to guidance.
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.