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DHM extended through Nov. 24

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 2:05 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.

The Directed Health Measure, with mask requirement, has been extended through Nov. 24.

“We must exercise caution and not remove measures too soon, only to have our number reverse and undermine all the progress and hard work we’ve done,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “We understand people are getting tired, Pandemic fatigue is real and understandable, but it’s important to remain patient and stay focused on what we need to do to further decrease COVID-19 in our community.”

According to the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department, hospital capacity is still a big concern.

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at moderate risk (yellow). The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks.

The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases has leveled off at about 80 cases a day for the first three weeks of October. Lopez said LLCHD would like to see a sustained average of 40 to 45 cases a day.

The community positivity rate has remained in the 9% to 10% range for the past 10 weeks. Lopez said a rate down in the 5% to 7% range would indicate that the risk of transmission is reduced.

The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations has been below 100 patients since October 6, but Lopez said that number is still too high and local hospital capacity remains a serious concern for the entire community.

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

Lopez said Lancaster County today reached its initial goal of having 75% of residents ages 16 and over are fully vaccinated. 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.

“Since the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in mid-December of last year, we’ve seen a tremendous response from our community and our partners,” Lopez said. “Achieving this milestone gives us reassurance that we’ve been able to reach and help protect a significant portion of our population through vaccination.”

According to the LLCHD, a milestone has been hit with vaccination records. Around 75% of...
According to the LLCHD, a milestone has been hit with vaccination records. Around 75% of individuals aged 16 or older, have been vaccinated in Lancaster County.(LLCHD)

Mayor Gaylor Baird proclaimed that Nov. 15, 2021 through Nov. 19, 2021 as Hospital Hero Appreciation Week, honoring the medical staff who has had to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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