New COVID-19 Cases in Lancaster County Near Peak Levels

July 13, 2020, 4:04 p.m. ·

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(Joe McMullen, NET Nebraska)

New cases of COVID-19 in Lancaster County have reached the same level as the county’s peak in early May.

The area has had an average 41 new cases per day over the last seven days, compared to the peak average of between 38 and 43 new daily cases the week of May 9.

Last week there were 230 new cases, the third-highest weekly total so far and the highest for one week since the end of May.

"Lincoln, this is our wake-up call. This is our opportunity to turn things around so that we don't need to go back to additional restrictions on how we live," said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird in a statement. "The actions we take today will impact what school looks like in the fall, how easy it will be to find a job, when concerts come back, and how many friends and family members get sick."

Health officials attribute the spike to people under age 40 gathering in large groups without wearing masks. Face coverings are not mandated in Nebraska, except for in beauty salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, massage therapy centers, and similar businesses.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department recently increased the coronavirus risk dial from "moderate" to "high."

This post has been updated after the new cases for July 13 were reported.