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New DHM Includes Mask Requirements

To respond to a local spike in new cases of COVID-19, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today issued a new local Directed Health Measure (DHM) that will require all individuals age five and older to wear a face covering when they are in an indoor space that is open to the public unless six feet of separation from others at all times can be achieved. The DHM also requires business owners to ensure their patrons age five and older wear face coverings any time they cannot maintain six feet of separation with non-household members.

The DHM goes into effect Monday July 20 and continues until August 31 when it will be reevaluated. No other changes to the DHM issued on June 22 are being implemented at this time.

The DHM includes exceptions. Masks are not required for the following:

  • Individuals seated at a bar or restaurant to eat or drink, or while immediately consuming food or beverages
  • Those exercising
  • Those engaged in an occupation that prevents the wearing of a face covering
  • Those obtaining a service or purchasing goods or services that requires the temporary removal of the face covering
  • A person giving a speech, lecture, or broadcast to an audience as long as six feet of distance from other individuals is maintained
  • Those individuals who cannot otherwise wear a face covering because of a medical condition, a mental health condition, or a disability that prevents the wearing of face coverings
  • Anyone seeking state or county government services

Gaylor Baird said 274 new cases have been reported locally since July 12, and positivity rates are also increasing. Although the local hospital capacity is good, the number of hospitalizations has increased from nine on July 2 to 22 today.

“Our public health emergency is not over, and our numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “Everyone needs to understand that this reversal of progress threatens the opening of school. It threatens the businesses that have reopened. And it threatens the health of every person in our community. The time to act is now.”