City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response
What's Happening Now
Face Covering Requirement for Lincoln and Lancaster County
Information and frequently asked questions
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 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)
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
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
- Wear a face mask around others
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.
New Local Directed Health Measure in effect
Monday, September 14
Face coverings required in indoor spaces open to public
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department have issued a new local Directed Health Measure (DHM) that continues to require all individuals age five and older to wear a face covering when they are in an indoor space that is open to the public unless six feet of separation can be maintained. 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 Monday, September 14 and continues until October 31.
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 seated at a bar or restaurant to eat or drink, or while immediately consuming food or beverages;
- Is engaged in exercise and six (6) feet of separation cannot be maintained;
- 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.
Mayor Gaylor Baird said 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.
Updated as of 12:01 a.m. September 14, 2020, the following are not allowed in Lancaster County:
- Indoor gatherings will be limited 50 people or 50% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 10,000).
- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 30,000).
- Gatherings include but are not limited to indoor or outdoor arenas, indoor or outdoor auctions, stadiums, tracks, fairgrounds, festivals, zoos, auditoriums, large event conference rooms, meeting halls, indoor theaters, libraries, swimming pools, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.
- Operators of any state licensed company which allows the consumption of alcohol while on city streets, county roads, or state highways, including but not limited to limousines, party buses, or pedal pubs, shall limit party sizes to no more than fifty percent (50%) occupancy or eight (8) individuals, whichever is greater, excluding the operator.
- Groups shall be no larger than eight (8) individuals.
- 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.
- Door to door sales are not allowed and no new permits will be issued for peddlers.
Allowed Must keep 6 feet from others
- Restaurants and bars can allow up to 100% occupancy but they are required to continue to space individuals, or groups of 8 or less, 6 feet apart (this may affect the ability to attain 100% occupancy). 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, participating in billiards, video games etc., or using the restroom. Employees such as wait staff and cashiers shall wear face coverings. Special requirements for disinfection must be followed.
- Self-service food buffets are allowed; Operators of buffets shall provide hand sanitizer for patrons to use prior to using utensils; and change utensils at least every 30 minutes.
- Establishments with arcade games, pool tables, etc. can allow individuals to play those games, but they are to make sure no more than 8 people are playing or congregating at one time, and the establishments are to perform cleaning and disinfection at regular intervals.
- 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. Aestheticians, body art establishments, barbers and, cosmetologists may remove customer face coverings to perform services on the customer’s face.
- Dancing is permitted at private events (events with set invitee lists including but not limited to wedding receptions, dance recitals, or private dances.)
- Private and public educational institutions or school districts are excepted from the prohibition on gatherings during any in-person education.
- Childcare shall be carried out in groups of:
- fifteen (15) or fewer children age 2 and under;
- twenty (20) or fewer children age 3;
- twenty-four (24) or fewer children between ages 4-5;
- thirty (30) or fewer children ages 6 and above.
To the extent possible, providers shall maintain the same groups of children daily. Child care providers, if wearing a face covering, can work with different groups of children.
- Gyms, fitness centers/clubs, health clubs, health spas, martial arts studios, and gymnastics gyms may operate gyms and fitness centers with up to 50 people or 75% of rated occupancy, whichever is greater. 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 greater of 50 people or 75% of rated 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 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.