Pandemic Not Over Yet, But Directed Health Measures Ending

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez

Lincoln, NE (June 16, 2021)  Data shows things are moving in the right direction in Lincoln, when it comes to the fight against COVID-19. People are getting vaccinations and the number of cases has remained small in the past month. Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez said today that the current directed health measure will expire at 11:59 Friday night.

She tempered the good news with a sobering reminder, however:

“The Pandemic is not over.  We are still actively working to get vaccinations out.  We have not reached our community goal of 75 (percent fully vaccinated).  We’re still having cases reported every day.”

Despite the continued threat, however, Lopez says the end of the Directed Health Measures means there will be no conditions and no event plans required for gatherings regardless of size and location.

“Restaurants, Bars, Child Care Facilities, Barber Shops, Cosmetology Establishments, Estheticians, Body Art, and Massage Facilities will no longer be subject to any directed health measures” said Lopez, adding “however they are still encouraged to follow the guidance as it relates to preventing the spread of Covid-19.”

Lopez had no doubt that the directed health measures and the vaccination programs that have been in effect have helped Lincoln arrive at this point.

“The key reason we continue to see these improvements is due to the progress with vaccinations.”

“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.   

Read More:  New York, California Lift Most COVID-19 Restrictions As Vaccination Rates Top 70%

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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