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Chancellor Ronnie Green announced Tuesday afternoon that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will implement an indoor mask mandate effective Wednesday, Aug. 25, due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“This public health decision was necessary due to increased cases of COVID-19 in Lancaster County and the incredible strain it is putting on local hospitals, which are seeing younger and younger patients seriously ill with COVID-19 infections due to the Delta variant,” Green said in an email. 

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Health Director Pat Lopez also announced Tuesday the re-implementation of a countywide mask mandate effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday. 

Both mandates will remain in effect through at least Sept. 30.

Green noted the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine and encouraged individuals to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. 

“There is no better way to protect yourself from COVID-19 than to be vaccinated,” Green said. “The announcement by the FDA shows the Pfizer vaccine has its full and complete approval.”

The university will offer walk-up vaccine clinics Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both Nebraska Unions. The clinic in the Nebraska Union will be in the Regency Room, while the clinic in the Nebraska East Union will be in the Prairie Suite.

Before the beginning of the fall semester, all faculty, staff and students were required to get a COVID-19 test in order to re-enter campus. The mass testing last week has reaped a positivity rate of 0.69%, according to Green.  

“Thank you for your continued patience, goodwill and respect for each other as we continued to successfully work through the challenges of this pandemic,” Green said.