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Lancaster County brings back indoor mask mandate, LPS and UNL follow suit

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 1:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reinstating the mask mandate. LLCHD Director Pat Lopez said beginning Thursday, a Directed Health Measure will be implemented, requiring masks indoors.

In light of the latest DHM, Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln will be requiring masks for everyone indoors beginning Wednesday.

The LLCHD said that face coverings for outdoor events are still recommended, not required. This includes events such as Husker football games or outdoor concerts.

The DHM will last from Thursday, Aug. 26, until Thursday, Sept. 30. This mandate will affect all people ages two and up regardless of vaccination status.

“We have reached another pivotal point during the pandemic, where we have to take immediate action to protect our community and help stop the spread of the Delta Variant,” said Lopez.

The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health...
The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reinstating the mask mandate.(10/11 NOW)
The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health...
The most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reinstating the mask mandate.(10/11 NOW)

According to the LLCHD, 18 COVID-19 deaths were reported in August in Lancaster County, including three new deaths reported Tuesday.

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial went further into orange (High Risk).

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial went further into orange (High Risk).
The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial went further into orange (High Risk).(10/11 NOW)

Lincoln Mayor Lerion Gaylor Baird made sure to thank those who had gotten the vaccine.

However, the mayor and health officials noted that the Delta Variant was spreading throughout the community, causing issues for people and hospitals.

“It’s sobering to think about two months ago I was celebrating with our hospital teams that we were finally pulling out of this pandemic,” said Derek Vance, President of CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Nebraska Heart. “After more than a year of intense strain and stress on our healthcare system, our hospitals were beginning to feel back to normal. And today, we find ourselves right back in the middle of the pandemic. The number of COVID patients at St. Elizabeth’s has risen exponentially in recent weeks, to the point that we have reopened and filled a dedicated COVID unit.”

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