LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial increases to Severe Risk

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 1:45 PM CST
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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.

The LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial has increased from High to Severe Risk (Red).

The risk dial first went into red on November 6, 2020 and remained there for about 10 consecutive weeks until January 19, 2021. It has not been in the red position since then.

Health Director Pat Lopez said that over the past few weeks many of the key indicators used to determine the dial position have continued to move in the wrong direction. Case and positivity rates have quickly increased, hospitalizations and deaths remain high and the large number of cases is causing difficulty with contact tracing.

“The choices we make on a daily basis affect our level of risk and the risk we may pose to others,” Lopez said. “We have the tools to combat COVID-19 – vaccinations, boosters, masking, testing, treatments, distancing, isolating, handwashing – and we continue to call on the community to use them.”

Updated guidance and recommendations can be found at

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 cases has increased sharply, from an average of 128 cases beginning December 27 to 218 cases by December 31.
  • The positivity rate has also jumped higher. It has increased from 11.9% to 16.7% the week ending January 1.
  • The seven-day rolling average of COVID -19 patients hospitalized locally increased from 112 on December 24 to an average of 121 for the week ending January 1. Today, our local hospitals report 113 COVID-19 patients with 17 on ventilators. 72 of the patients are Lancaster County residents.
  • Three residents have died in 2022. Our community lost a total of 26 residents to COVID-19 in December and a total of 201 in 2021.

On Monday the Food and Drug Administration expanded Pfizer booster doses to include 12 to 15 year olds. The next step is for the Center of Disease Control and Prevention to decide whether to recommend boosters for younger teens. A decision is expected later this week. If the CDC gives approval, the LLCHD will be ready to start administering boosters to this age group as soon as possible and will give addition information at that time.

Health Director Pat Lopez said that currently, a Directed Health Measure has not been issued due to the increase of COVID cases caused by Omicron. Currently 53% of active cases in Nebraska are the Omicron Variant.

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