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City announces end of DHMs in Lincoln

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird(LNKTV)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 1:55 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez announced Wednesday that the current Directed Health Measure will be allowed to expire at 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 18. 

Lopez said the main factor for the improvement is the progress in getting residents vaccinated.

“More than 68 percent of Lancaster County residents age 16 and up have now initiated vaccination,” Lopez said.  “The biggest impact is in the 45 and older age groups.  Nearly 75 percent of those age 45 and older are now fully vaccinated in our community. This is another tremendous accomplishment.” Lopez said about 45 percent of those age 44 and under are fully vaccinated.

“If you still have not received the safe and highly effective vaccine, please do so now,” said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.  “There are still plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated, and this is the single most important and effective step you can take to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors.  Thank you to all who have rolled up their sleeves to help end the pandemic.”

Lopez said getting vaccinated helps to protect those under age 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine and those residents are unable to get vaccinated.  She urged parents of students age 12 and up to them vaccinated before school starts.

The expiration of the DHM will lead to these changes:

· There will be no conditions related to gatherings regardless of size or location.

· No event plans will be required for events with more than 500 people. Special event permits will still be reviewed for communicable disease potential, and appropriate instructions will be provided.

· Kindergarten through grade 12 extracurricular activities will no longer be required to submit an activity plan.

· Pedal pubs and party buses will no longer be required to maintain a list of passengers for 21 days after passage.

· Facilities that are encouraged to continue following the guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 include restaurants, bars, childcare facilities, barbershops, cosmetology establishments, estheticians, and body art and massage facilities.

· Those who have either contracted COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19 are still required to isolate or quarantine as directed by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

The COVID-19 Risk Dial has remained in green since May 18.  The green level indicates a minimal and controlled level of COVID-19 in Lancaster County, meaning transmission is low.

The positivity rate has been below three percent for the past three weeks. The seven-day rolling average of new weekly cases dropped from 36 cases per day at the beginning of May to just five per day.  For the week ending June 12, just 33 new cases were reported.  The number of COVID-19 cases in local hospitals is down to about five, and two deaths have been reported in June.

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