County should move to “lower risk” Friday


LINCOLN COUNTY — After a dramatic drop in the rate of new COVID-19 cases during the most recent two-week period, Lincoln County is expected to move into the “lower risk” category at the end of the week.

According to data presented to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners during its regular meeting Monday, there were 37.3 new cases per 100,000 residents Feb. 7 through Feb. 20. That should allow the county to move from the high risk category all the way down to the lowest level — fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 in a 14-day period — skipping moderate risk, which is defined as having between 50 and 100 new cases during two weeks.

Lower risk counties have the fewest pandemic-related restrictions on businesses — restaurants, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment facilities can operate at 50 percent capacity, retail establishments can operate at 75 percent capacity, and at-home, private social gatherings can have up to 10 people from four different households indoors and 12 people outdoors.

Faith institutions can also house 75 percent of their maximum occupancy indoors and a up to 300 people outdoors. See tinyurl.com/ycga73gk for a full list of restrictions.

The official notification that the county will be moved to lower risk has not yet come from the state, but it's expected by county officials.

The new risk classification will take effect on Friday, Feb. 26.

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