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COVID-19 Risk Dial lowers to Orange

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 1:21 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Lancaster-County Health Officials announced on Tuesday that the LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial has lowered to High Risk (Orange).

This indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on the community is high. It’s the first time the risk dial has been in orange since January 4. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk.

“What all of our indicators and additional data are telling us are clear,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “The spread of the Omicron virus is quickly dissipating in Lincoln and Lancaster County. And it’s impacts in terms of cases and hospitalizations are getting closer to the sustained improvement that we all want to see. But we’re just not quite there yet.”

After peaking near 5,000 the week ending Jan. 15, the number of local COVID-19 cases has dropped more than 80% to 809 last week. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally has dropped 47% since Feb. 1. Since Feb. 11, hospitals have reported less than 100 COVID-19 patients each day.

“For the first time since the omicron surge started in late December, our cases have dropped below a thousand a week,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “And, for the first time since November, our hospitals have reported fewer than 100 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 for several days in a row. These are strong signs that our community is coming through this surge and COVID-19 is moving closer to a level that is more manageable.”

Lopez said LLCHD is seeing similar trends in data from the Lincoln Public Schools as well as from ongoing wastewater testing by Lincoln Transportation and Utilities.

The local positivity rate is holding at around 16%. LLCHD would like to see the rate drop below 10%, indicating reduced transmission of the virus. Seventeen Lancaster County residents have died from COVID-19 so far in February, including one death reported today.

All Lancaster County residents ages 5 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. About 66% of all Lancaster County residents are fully vaccinated. Just over 32% of children ages 5 through 11 are now fully vaccinated. More than 60% percent of residents ages 12 and up have now received a booster or third dose. Local data shows that more than 90% of the people hospitalized in January with breakthrough COVID-19 infections were eligible for their booster but hadn’t received them yet.

The local Directed Health Measure is in effect through Feb. 25. The DHM includes a mask mandate for individuals ages 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. Exceptions to the mandate and more information on the DHM are available by visiting covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-6280.

This LLCHD also released a form on Tuesday for for individuals who live in Lancaster County. The form allows them to report the results of COVID-19 testing done in the home to the LLCHD.

For general information on COVID-19, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.

Lincoln Lancaster-County Health Officials announced on Tuesday that the LLCHD COVID-19 Risk Dial has lowered to High Risk (Orange).

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