City of Lincoln ends mask mandate a week early, masks still encouraged indoors

Cases and hospitalizations have dropped in Lancaster County
Studies Find Areas With Mask Mandates Have Lower COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates
Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 13:41:56-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — In a news release, the City of Lincoln announced the end of its current mask mandate at 11:59 on Friday, a week early "due to significant declines in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations..."

In the release, officials explained: "The number of new COVID-19 cases has dropped 80% over the past four weeks, and the seven-day average of new daily cases is now less than 100. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally has decreased 47% since February 1, and hospitals have reported less than 100 COVID-19 patients each day since February 11. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally today is 62, with 45 from Lancaster County."

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) says that the COVID-19 Risk Dial is at elevated orange, which means that the risk of the virus spreading is still high. LLCHD recommends that residents continue wearing masks indoors. It added that masks will still be required on public transportation and in most healthcare facilities.

“Our collective actions are helping our community come through this surge. Together, we’ve helped our hospitals preserve capacity, our schools keep classrooms open, and limited disruptions to local businesses. COVID-19 is moving to a level that is more manageable, but the pandemic is not over. COVID-19 is unpredictable, and if our local situation changes, we will re-evaluate the current recommendations and make adjustments as necessary,” said Lincoln-Lancaster Health Director Patricia Lopez.

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