LINCOLN–(KFOR Apr. 25)–Both the Lincoln City Council and Lancaster County Board are planning to end emergency declarations for the COVID-19 pandemic, as both will vote at upcoming meetings to make that effective May 11, the same day the federal public health emergency will end.

Steps have already been taken locally that indicate the COVID-19 threat has dropped off. Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez said during Monday’s pre-council meeting there will be no more free tests available at the health department after May 11.

“We still have a supply (of tests), but we haven’t ordered any more,” Lopez said.

Lopez did add that the Health Department has set aside $1.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to respond to an uptick in positive cases. It also could be used to buy vaccines and tests, if necessary.

Another thing that will change will be the daily dashboard, which will likely stay in place and include more information about other respiratory illnesses. Lopez said the COVID-19 risk dial will be going away.

“And we can always resurrect it, if that need should arise,” Lopez added.

The COVID-19 risk dial moved back to green earlier in April, after 11 straight weeks in low yellow range.

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