City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response

April 8, 4:00 p.m.

This updated summary informs residents on how city government is addressing the public health emergency and provides them with the information they need to access city services.

Latest Statistics
  • Lab-confirmed cases in Lincoln: 39
    • How many community spread: 18

Please note that testing is limited at this time.

  • Lab-confirmed cases in Nebraska: 521
    • Lancaster County: 39
    • Douglas County/Omaha: 181
    • Adams County: 27
    • Antelope County: 1
    • Buffalo County: 28
    • Cass County: 3
    • Cherry County: 1
    • Cheyenne County: 1
    • Colfax County: 3
    • Cuming County: 2
    • Custer County: 3
    • Dawson County: 1
    • Dodge County: 7
    • Gage County: 23
    • Gosper County: 1
    • Hall County: 69
    • Hamilton County: 7
    • Johnson County: 1
    • Kearney County: 3
    • Kimball County: 10
    • Knox County: 2
    • Lincoln County: 17
    • Madison County: 5
    • Merrick County: 2
    • Nemaha County: 1
    • Otoe County: 1
    • Phelps County: 1
    • Platte County: 5
    • Sarpy County: 37
    • Saunders County: 4
    • Scotts Bluff County: 10
    • Seward County: 1
    • Stanton County: 1
    • Washington County: 20
    • Webster County: 1
    • York County: 2
Chart - Percent of All COVID-19 Lab Tests, LLCHD
  • Number being monitored in Lincoln: 110 people are currently being monitored due their travel history or exposure. The Health Department reports 1,196 negative tests, with 16 pending. (Pending results from private labs are not available.)
What's Happening Now
Message from Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
Local Health Department Orders Directed Health Measures

Directed Health Measures 2020‑01

Those with questions about the Directed Health Measures should contact the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) at 402-441-6280.

Pat Lopez, Interim Health Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), ordered Directed Health Measures that further limit the opportunities for community spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Enforceable restrictions on public gatherings and business operations will be in effect from Thursday, March 26 through Wednesday, May 6.

The action is in response to the third lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, which was reported March 25. LLCHD officials said this case had no travel history and is not related to the previous two local cases, so this third case is considered community acquired, the first case of this kind in Lincoln.

"The directed health measures will present new challenges and ask for new sacrifices. It is important to remember why we are so committed to comply with them faithfully," said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. "What each of us does right now is important and has implications for what happens next. Each of us has a heroic role to play in preventing our health care system from becoming overburdened and saving lives."

"We have known that the presence of one or two community-acquired cases would be the trigger for our local Directed Health Measures," said Lopez. "Our public health officials worked with infectious disease specialists at UNMC and the State to identify this as a guideline."

LLCHD will contact the impacted businesses directly with guidance on complying with the measures. As of 8 a.m. March 26, the following are not allowed in Lancaster County:

Not Allowed

  • Gatherings for any reason of more than 10 people in single spaces, including schools; fitness centers and gyms; auditoriums, stadiums and arenas; large event conference rooms and meeting halls; theaters; and libraries. Daycare and childcare facilities will be allowed to operate with groups of 10 or fewer children. If more than one group of children is cared for, each group shall be separated.
  • Gatherings for any reason of less than 10 people in single spaces where a minimum of six feet between all individuals cannot be maintained including, but not limited to, tattoo and barber shops, beauty and nail salons, and massage establishments.
  • Food and beverage sales at any dine-in establishments including restaurants, bars, taverns, and private clubs are restricted to drive-thru, carry out, and delivery only. This does not apply to food service in health care facilities. Alcohol sales are restricted to carry-out sales and delivery only, to the extent permitted by law. No on-site consumption of alcohol is permitted.

The staff of a business is excluded from the 10-person limit, which only applies to customers, patrons, and other invitees.

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

  • Courts of law, meetings or sessions of the Nebraska Legislature, or operations of any other political subdivision
  • 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 ten 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 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.

COVID-19 testing guidelines

Those prioritized for testing remain:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Public safety personnel
  • Residents and employees of nursing homes and group homes as well as those attending or working at daycares
  • People over 60 or those with underlying health conditions

If you have symptoms — fever, cough, or difficulty breathing — self-quarantine and call your health care provider for recommended follow up before visiting.

If you have no symptoms, you do not need to contact your health provider to be tested. Do not go to urgent care, the emergency department, or a doctor's office to get a COVID-19 test. Those test kits and medical personnel must be reserved for individuals in the prioritized categories.

Health guidelines for travelers

According to the State guidelines, all travelers returning from any international or domestic location, should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, and self-monitor for symptoms.

Those who are self-monitoring should take their temperature twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they develop symptoms, they should seek medical advice by phone and self-isolate.

Self-quarantine is for those who have been exposed to coronavirus and are at risk for developing symptoms. They should stay home and avoid contact with others to prevent them from being exposed. Once the quarantine period has ended, those who do not have symptoms, should follow their health care providers' instructions on returning to a normal routine.

Self-isolation is for those who have COVID-19.

State of Nebraska

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