Lincoln Mayor warns of further restrictions due to COVID-19 resurgence

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 1:42 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials said the recent increase in local cases of COVID-19 and other trends may prompt further restrictions in the community.  The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced that 44 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Lincoln Tuesday, bringing the community total to 2,226.  The number of deaths in the community remains at 13.

Scott Holmes, Manager of the Environmental Health Division of LLCHD said officials are concerned about the increase in new cases, the positivity rate and the number of hospitalizations. 

  • For the week ending Saturday, July 11, 230 new cases were reported, the highest weekly total since the week of May 17 through 23.  About 57 percent of the new cases in the last two weeks have been individuals ages 20 to 29, an age group that makes up just 18.5 percent of the local population.
  • The weekly positivity rate has increased from 3.1 percent at the end of June to about 7.5 percent last week.
  • The number of local hospitalizations is up from nine on July 3 to 21 Tuesday.  That includes 11 Lancaster County residents (one on ventilator) and 10 from other communities (two on ventilators).

The City is delivering letters to bars Tuesday to remind them of the local restrictions, and Holmes said those not following local laws face immediate closure.  Mayor Gaylor Baird said the City would decide by Friday if further restrictions are needed.

“Unfortunately, the progress we have made through shared sacrifice is now being reversed,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said.  “We are in a very serious situation here.  Our public health emergency is not over.  I have instructed our health team to determine what measures are necessary to get us back on track because the setback we are seeing now threatens the opening of school.  It threatens the businesses that have reopened.  And it threatens the health of every person in our community.”

On Friday, the COVID-19 Risk Dial was moved from the moderate level to Orange,” indicating a high risk of the virus spreading.  Residents are advised to follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Wear face coverings.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Those at risk of complications from COVID-19 should continue to stay away from others.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, repeated shaking with chills, repeated muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

LLCHD also released the following information:

Recoveries: up from 756 to 785

Overall positivity rate: 

  • Lancaster County – remains at 6.6 percent
  • State – remains at 10 percent
  • National – remains at 9.6 percent

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