LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial Rises to High Orange – Community News
Covid-19

LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial Rises to High Orange

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Lincoln-Lancaster County health officials briefed the community on Tuesday about the city’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial rose to high amber (High Risk).

This indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on the community is high and increasing. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of spreading COVID-19 and green the lowest risk.

Health Director Pat Lopez said no cases of the omicron variant have yet been reported in Lancaster County. The variant has been found in about 19 states, including Nebraska, where six cases were reported. Lopez said the Delta variant still has the greatest impact on the community. As of Friday, December 3, 264 cases were reported in Lancaster County, the highest number of daily cases reported so far in 2021.

“A lot of what’s driving the current surges is the aftermath of Thanksgiving rallies,” Lopez said. “We could see a repeat later in December as more holiday gatherings are planned. We must be aware of our actions and remember to celebrate safely. In addition to getting vaccinated and wearing masks, it’s important to get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms, to stay home if you’re sick, to keep your distance from others and to wash your hands.”

The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the past three weeks.

The seven-day moving average of new daily cases was 127 on Nov. 24, before declining briefly due to tests available around the holidays. The average then rose sharply to 170 cases on December 4. Nearly 75% of new cases from November 28 through December 4 were under the age of 50.

By the end of last week, the positivity rate had reached 14.7%, the highest ever reported in Lancaster County during the COVID-19 pandemic. The positivity rate is an important indicator of the spread in the community and shows that the risk of transmission is very high.

The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally was in the 1990s for most of November, but rose to 106 late last week.

The community lost 16 residents to COVID-19 in November and six residents have died from the virus so far in December. Four of those deaths were reported today.

Lopez said state data shows that Nebraskans who are not fully vaccinated are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. All Lancaster County residents 5 years and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses are recommended for adults 18 years and older. People can schedule an appointment at an upcoming clinic at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov. Residents can also find a local pharmacy that offers vaccinations on vaccins.gov or by texting their zip code to 438829. Those who do not have online access or need assistance can call 402-441-4200.

Approximately 63% of all Lancaster County residents are now fully vaccinated. Nearly 26% of children aged 5 to 11 have now received their first dose and approximately 13% have been fully vaccinated. About 37% of people 18 years and older have received a booster dose or third dose.

The local Directed Health Measure (DHM) is in effect until 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 23. The DHM continues to require that all persons aged two years and older – regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask indoors.

For general information about COVID-19, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the health department hotline at 402-441-8006.

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