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Lincoln COVID cases see steady decline

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 1:43 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:10 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Lancaster-County Health Officials updated the community on the City’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a briefing on Tuesday.

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at high-yellow (moderate risk) Levels.

Health Director Pat Lopez also shared updated national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. The data show that those who are unvaccinated had 6.1 times greater risk of testing positive for the virus that those who were vaccinated. The data also show that those who are unvaccinated had a 11.3 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated.

The community positivity rate has remained in the 9% to 10% range for five straight weeks.

Seventeen local residents have died from COVID-19 in October. Ten were unvaccinated.

In Lancaster County, 74.7% of residents ages 16 and over are fully vaccinated, and Lopez said the initial goal of 75% is expected to be reached soon. She said the Health Department’s next focus will be to have 75% of all Lancaster County residents fully vaccinated. Right now, just over 60% of the 319,000 residents are fully vaccinated.

According to the latest data, the peak of the cases during the Delta surge was 1,024 cases during the week of Sept. 4. Over the next four weeks, there was a 43% decrease in weekly cases, with 587 cases during the week of Oct. 2.

According to the LLCHD, there has been a slow, and gradual decline in COVID-19 patients. This is from a high of 109 patients down to 93 this week. Lancaster County makes up a majority of these patients, with 52 cases.

“Overall, many of the indicators used to determine risk have been moving in the right direction,” said Lopez. “However, the number of new cases and positivity rate are still too high. We’re not yet seeing the seeing the sustained declines we need to see.”

Lopez reminded Lincoln residents to get their flu vaccine, noting that getting the vaccine would help prevent the spread of the disease and preserve hospital capacity during the pandemic.

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