“The hospitals are really full,” says Dr. Eric Avery, president of the Lancaster County Medical Society. “The cases of COVID are far too high, and it is up to us to do the right thing now.”
In addition to wearing masks, officials said doing the right thing means getting vaccinated if you haven’t already.
Vaccines are “proven, they’re safe, they’re effective,” Avery said.
Lopez also praised the importance of booster shots. While she said she had no data on the number of recent cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people, she did say that only 10% of cases occur in those who have had a booster shot.
Officials also said another example of doing the right thing would be to avoid large gatherings.
Gaylor Baird encouraged community groups to postpone or hold meetings virtually, and she also said that people who plan to host events such as weddings or banquets should consider postponing them as people gather nearby. maskless is the easiest way for the virus to spread.
“It’s time to get real, and for at least the next four weeks I’m asking you to make some tough decisions,” she said.
The reinstatement of the county-wide mask mandate comes just days after the Douglas County health director instituted one for the city of Omaha. The Douglas County health department does not have the same powers as the Lincoln-Lancaster County health department under state law, and on Thursday Attorney General Doug Peterson filed a lawsuit to block Omaha’s mandate.