Health officials encourage vaccinations as younger COVID-19 patients are hospitalized

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 1:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 4:38 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials updated the community on the City’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a briefing on Tuesday.

Health officials encouraged younger citizens to get vaccinated, if able. This especially as younger COVID-19 patients are seen in hospitals.

“I know you might find this hard to believe, and some others might, but some individuals who we’ve been talking to and getting information from are actually saying, they just hadn’t gotten around to it,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “And that they haven’t scheduled an appointment...Getting vaccinated is one of the biggest things we have in the community. That’s one of the biggest things going in the community. So that’s what we’re hearing a lot of, so we’re putting a lot of effort to reach out to the population.”

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced that 18 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Lancaster County, bringing the community total to 31,049. The total number of deaths in the community remains at 232.

The COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at low-moderate risk.

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

  • The number of new weekly cases dropped from 300 the week ending April 24 to 247 cases the week ending week May 1.
  • The community positivity rate decreased from 7% the week ending April 24 to 6.1% the week ending May 1.
  • The number of local patients hospitalized with COVID-19 averaged 30 for the month of April.
  • No local COVID-19 deaths have been reported since April 19.
  • About 49% of the local population age 16 and over is fully vaccinated.

Recoveries: 28,173

Weekly positivity rate:

April 25 through May 1: 6.1%

May 2 through 8: no data

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 positive patients: 29 with 21 from Lancaster County (two on ventilators) and eight from other communities (none on ventilators).

Vaccinations administered:

Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 163,879

Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 119,954

This week’s public clinics (subject to change):

  • Monday, May 3, Center for People in Need – first and second doses
  • Tuesday, May 4, Airpark Recreation Center – first doses
  • Wednesday, May 5, Belmont Recreation Center – first doses; Gateway Mall – first-dose drive-through clinic north of the garages of the former Sears store
  • Thursday, May 6, Lancaster Event Center – first and second doses
  • Friday, May 7, Lancaster Event Center – first and second doses
  • Saturday May 8, Gateway Mall – first-doses drive-through clinic north of the garages of the former Sears store

Registration: Residents age 16 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine, and appointments are available for this week. Residents can complete the quick and simple registration process and then schedule an appointment to get vaccinated at Residents who are already in the registration system will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

Those who do not have online access or who need assistance with registration or scheduling may call LLCHD’s COVID-19 hotline at 402-441-8006 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Testing: The process begins with a free online risk assessment available at, or

Drive-through testing is available from:

CHI Health St. Elizabeth: Autumn Ridge Family Medicine, 5000 North 26th St. and Southwest Family Health, 1240 Aries Drive. Call either site to schedule an appointment: Autumn Ridge, 402-435-5300 and South West Family, 402-420-1300.

Test Nebraska: Gateway Mall, 6100 “O” St., north parking lot of the former Sears store. Tests are conducted from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 402-207-9377

Testing is also available without an appointment at the three Bryan Urgent Care locations, 7501 S. 27th St., 5901 N. 27th St. and 4333 S. 86th St. To check wait times, call 402-481-6343.

For more information, visit or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.

You can watch the press conference live in the video player above.

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