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Lincoln moves into green, removes mask mandate

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported that the COVID-19 risk dial is now at green, signifying a minimal and controlled level of COVID-19 in Lancaster County.

According to Lincoln authorities, that means new chains of transmission are limited and quickly broken, allowing residents to resume normal contact with others unless sick.

Officials also stated that the new Directed Health Measure, which goes into effect May 21, does not include a mask requirement. Masks will still be recommended for unvaccinated individuals. Businesses can still require masks, if they wish.

“If you are fully vaccinated, and want to wear you mask in public places, we really encourage you to do so,” said Pat Lopez, LLCHD Health Director.

Lopez encouraged employees of barber shops, hair salons, body art facilities, cosmetologists and massage therapists to wear a mask when working with clients, even when fully vaccinated, due to close contact.

Once again, officials encouraged citizens to get the vaccine.

“Vaccination has played such an important role in getting us to where we are today, but it’s not over yet,” said Lopez. “Together we have achieved a major milestone, and now that we’re at green on our COVID-19 Risk Dial, we want to stay there. If you’re not yet vaccinated, do so as soon as possible...Remember the vaccine does not just protect you, it protects your family, friends and loved ones”

The mayor also announced that the weekly COVID-19 video updates will be coming to an end. The health team will continue to update the COVID-19 Risk Dial and data dashboard. Written updates will be provided every weekday. Televised updates will be scheduled as needed.