City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
For information on statewide cases, including numbers by county, please see the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Dashboard.
What's Happening Now
High 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 top public health experts and is coupled with specific guidance.
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
- Stay at home unless essential personnel traveling for work, or general public acquiring 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 acceptable
- Smallest number of contacts feasible
- No large gatherings or events, no more than 10 people
Face Coverings Outside the Home
- Face coverings strongly recommended for anyone over 2 years old
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 barrier such as 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
- Self-isolation of symptomatic persons
- Outdoor activities with members of your household are acceptable
Face Coverings at Home
- No face coverings for people without symptoms, unless they are under quarantine as a result of being exposed to someone who is infected
- Face coverings for symptomatic people
Hand Washing at Home
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
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
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 Bryan Health and CHI Health St. Elizabeth.
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 or CHI Health St. Elizabeth 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.
Message from Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
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 through June 30
Pat Lopez, Interim Health Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), has extended and modified the COVID-19 Directed Health Measure (DHM) for Lancaster County through Tuesday, June 30.
"What we are working to achieve through the Directed Health Measure is a reduction of the negative impact – both health and economic – that could result from increased transmission of the virus," said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.
The major factors officials are monitoring to guide future action include the number of new cases reported daily, testing capacity, the positivity rate, the strength of the local health care system, and public health capacity for contact tracing.
The Governor has announced his intention to issue a new State DHM for three Health Districts across the State, including Lincoln-Lancaster County, Three Rivers Public Health and the West Central District beginning May 11 and extending to at least May 31.
"We are working in concert with the State of Nebraska to support efforts to carefully and safely bring our economy back to life," said Gaylor Baird. "We are all learning together how to live with the coronavirus in our daily lives. I urge everyone to not let your guard down, to wear facial coverings whenever distancing is difficult, and do everything you can to protect our most at risk, vulnerable residents."
As of 12:01 a.m. June 1, the following are not allowed in Lancaster County:
- Gatherings of more than 25 people or 25% of rated occupancy (whichever is greater) in single spaces, including schools; auditoriums, stadiums and arenas; large event conference rooms and meeting halls; theaters; and libraries.
- Gatherings of less than 25 people or 25% of rated occupancy (whichever is greater) in single spaces where a minimum of six feet between all individuals cannot be maintained.
- Door-to-door sales activities are not allowed. No peddler permits will be processed.
- Any indoor or outdoor venue that holds more than 500 individuals must submit a reopening plan to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department before gatherings will be permitted.
If a business is using the 25-person limit, The staff of a business is excluded from the 25-person limit; however if a business is using 25% occupancy, the business’s staff is included.
The Directed Health Measures also include a list of exceptions. The measures do not apply to the following:
Allowed Must keep 6 feet from others
- Food and beverage sales at restaurants, bars, taverns, and private clubs are allowed but are restricted to no more patrons than 50% of maximum occupancy (indoor or outdoor). Patrons/parties must be seated at individual tables and be a minimum of 6 feet apart and remain at their table unless placing an order or using the restroom. Employees such as wait staff and cashiers shall wear face coverings. Special requirements for disinfection must be followed.
- Barber Shops, Cosmetology Establishments, Art Facilities, and Massage Therapists may operate but must not have more than 25 patrons in a room or space at the same time. A minimum of 6 feet shall be maintained between all workstations. Employees and patrons must wear face coverings.
- Daycare and childcare facilities shall be allowed to care for groups of 15 or fewer children ages 4 and under, or 20 children ages 5 and above, per room or space.
- Religious services, including weddings and funerals, are allowed, but must follow the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Directed Health Measure Order 2020-LLHD-003 dated May 29, 2020.
- Gyms, fitness centers/clubs, health clubs, health spas, martial arts studios, and gymnastics gyms may operate but will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 50% of rated occupancy. Businesses and organizations that provide any sports training and that sell memberships to provide such training are allowed to offer sports training as long as they follow the 25 people/50% occupancy guideline.
- Courts of law, meetings or sessions of the Nebraska Legislature, or operations of any other political subdivision. However All individuals shall wear face coverings of the nose and mouth while present in any areas open to the public while in the Hall of Justice unless doing so would be contrary to the individual’s health because of a medical condition.
- Essential federal, state, county, and city operations
- Election offices and polling places on an election day
- Medical providers or facilities and pharmacies
- Public utilities
- Logistics and distribution centers
- Congregate living settings, group homes, residential drug and/or mental health treatment facilities, and shelters
- Public transportation and airport travel
- Necessary shopping at fuel stations, grocery stores and other retailers
- Dwelling units housing twenty-five or more related people
Those in these excepted settings should maintain at least six feet of separation between individuals as much as possible.
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. 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.