WATCH: Lincoln Mayor updates community on COVID-19 numbers
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — When asked about the effectiveness of masks during this surge, Health Director Pat Lopez said, “We do know that the mask mandate has made a tremendous difference in our community… our students are in school and our students are not showing in school transmission.”
As far as the possibility of extending or adding restriction, Lopez said they regularly review the Direct Health Measures and contact tracing procedures. As most cases are coming from small gatherings where people are not masking or social distancing, Lopez says they are considering any other restrictions that will help protect the community.
However, Mayor Gaylor Baird says that for now, masks are our number one defense. She stated that the mask mandate is not forever, but will remain in place as long as our community keeps seeing a high number of cases.
“Don’t get too comfortable,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “We need to stay smart to stay safe.”
As for the COVID-19 Risk Dial, the Health Department will wait to update the dial until Friday in order to consider a full three weeks of data.
Bryan Health’s John Woodrich spoke next, updating the community on their capacity.
“I’ll be honest with you our staff have been dealing with this pandemic for 7 months plus,” said Woodrich. “They are tired.”
Woodrich then emphasized the best way to combat the virus: wear a mask, wash your hands, and continue to socially distance.
According to Health Director Lopez, “this virus is now widespread in our community.”
A CHI Health representative then took the podium, reporting that they currently have 16 hospitalized coronavirus patients, with five on ventilators.
“Our advice is that it is not a tie to panic, but it’s a time to keep an eye on this pandemic.”
Mayor Gaylor Baird announced three more coronavirus deaths. This brings this week’s total to seven deaths.
According to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director, 71 new cases were confirmed today.
Lopez commenting that “We are seeing more cases over the age of 30 than we have at any time during this pandemic.”
Today, Lincoln’s Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird updates the community on the COVID-19 Dashboard.