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LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial increases to Yellow

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 2:30 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez and health officials updated the community on the current rise of COVID-19 in Lincoln and the City’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a briefing on Tuesday.

Lincoln went from low (green) to moderate (yellow) risk of COVID-19 spread. The Delta variant remains a driving factor in that change as a majority of cases now reported in the county stem from it.

Lancaster County had been in that green category since May 18.

“This indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on our community is really moderate,” said Health Director Pat Lopez.

No additional restrictions will be put into place at this time. The health department does have guidance in place for both vaccinated and unvaccinated that suggests things like masking in public spaces.

Average case numbers are up as well from a low of five per day on June 27 to 32 cases per day at the end of last week.

On Tuesday the city reported a total of 42 patients hospitalized, with three on ventilators. Lincoln hasn’t seen this many hospitalizations since February.

Around 88% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past four weeks in Nebraska were not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.

The city is getting closer to its goal of getting 75% of the population 16 and above vaccinated. As of Tuesday that group is now 66% complete with both doses. An improvement from last week, but only by about 1%.

The highest vaccination rates are in the age group 65 to 74 with 90.1% of the eligible population completed. The lowest is 12 to 24-year-olds.

The city is seeing cluster cases in these younger groups at places like summer camps or child-care facilities. Places where they are both indoors and outdoors. It’s seeing family members being infected as kids come home from these activities.

The health department said it’s been meeting with school administrators about new CDC guidance released Tuesday that recommends there be masking in schools this fall, but so far no changes to back to school plans have been made.

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