UNMC and Nebraska Medicine continue to require masks, social distancing and limited gatherings on campus, despite recent changes to the state's directed health measures.
The UNMC community should know that the state's Directed Health Measures (DHMs) were changed this weekend based upon falling statewide hospital occupancy by COVID-19 patients, taking Nebraska from the "blue" category to the "green" category. This changed the maximal occupancy guidance for indoor gatherings from 75% of rated venue capacity to 100%. The DHM does not influence the wearing of masks, which is still "recommended" by the state and required on campus.
"UNMC has mandated the wearing of masks on campus and continues to do so," said Ted Cieslak, MD, interim executive director for health security. "Masking is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and remains mandatory on campus."
In addition, and for the safety of faculty, staff and students, UNMC and Nebraska Medicine will continue to limit gatherings on campus and in the classroom, Dr. Cieslak said. There are no immediate plans to change the occupancy guidance on campus.
"The safety measures we have in place have kept our on-campus transmission rates low," he said. "Now is not the time to loosen on-campus restrictions; instead, and as vaccines continue to roll out, it's time to recommit to the public health measures that work until the community transmission rates are controlled."
Faculty, staff and students are reminded that the DHM's are minimal standards which are supplemented by local governments, businesses, universities and others. For example: a mask mandate remains in effect for Omaha until at least Feb. 23 and for Lincoln until at least Feb. 21.
Thank you for continually putting safety and science first!