Lincoln Moves to Mandatory Restrictions on Public Gatherings

March 25, 2020, 5 p.m. ·


Lincoln will move to mandatory restrictions on public gatherings after the city’s first community spread case was identified. Community spread cases were also identified in Dodge and Saunders counties. All three counties will be covered by state directed health measures to restrict gatherings.

The restrictions will begin at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer. If a gathering is below the limit, participants must maintain a six foot distance.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird held a press conference Wednesday to announce the restrictions. She said the virus will soon take a greater hold in Lincoln, but she believes residents will adjust to these restrictions as they have adapted in the past.

“This measure does have the force of law. In everyday life however, primary enforcement will look like the health department officials reaching out to ensure that people understand the directive, and respectfully requesting to comply,” Gaylor Baird said. “Health officials will provide education to those who need it about why this is so vital to our community safety. Last resort enforcement will be with the assistance of the Lincoln Police Department or the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.”

In the most extreme case, violation of the restrictions within city limits will be a city misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.

Lincoln has 3 positive cases of COVID-19, 177 people being monitored, and 6 tests pending at the Nebraska Public Health Lab. That number does not include tests performed by other labs.