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City of Lincoln discusses concerning COVID-19 trends

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 1:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 2:49 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials discussed the current increase in the COVID-19 Delta Variant, and what Lincoln residents can do to help prevent its spread.

Mayor Gaylor Baird said that the current rise in cases is due to the COVID-19 Delta Variant, which is surging through mostly unvaccinated communities.

Dr. Keith J. Reichmuth, Nebraska Pulmonary Specialties, said that it was disheartening to see the increase in cases, especially after the effort made to push back against the pandemic.

“The analogy I give, there’s a level of fatigue and post-traumatic stress that still is existing from what we went through in the fall and winter,” said Dr. Reichmuth. “I was kind of thinking about this, and I apologize if it’s over dramatic, but I think it’s worthwhile mentioning. It’d be like if we asked those soldiers on D-Day to do what they did, go through all of what they did, and come through that and be successful. Then turn around and have to do it again. And that’s what I’m afraid of, with this trajectory as we get into the fall and winter. If we don’t have improvements in our vaccinations.”

The doctor encouraged individuals to get the vaccine if they haven’t yet. He said that the vaccine is safe, with only a few, rare, side effects. He also warned that by not getting the vaccine, people risk not only their well being but also allowing for the potential of newer COVID variants.

LLCHD Health Director Pat Lopez said that while the COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at Green, it is on the cusp of returning to Yellow.

“The pandemic is not over and people who are unvaccinated are really at risk,” said Lopez

The City of Lincoln has received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. The funding will be used to build upon existing response efforts and help communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, COVID-19 related-information and COVID-19 vaccinations.

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