COVID-19 Risk Dial lowered to Moderate Risk
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced on Tuesday that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will move from low orange to mid-yellow. The dial has not been in yellow since late October 2021. The yellow position on the dial means that the risk of the virus spreading in the community is moderate. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk. The dial is updated weekly.
Health Director Pat Lopez today also announced that LLCHD is no longer recommending that members of the general public wear masks indoors. However, those who have symptoms of COVID-19, have a positive COVID-19 test or have been exposed to someone with the virus should still wear a mask. Those over age 65 and people with medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider about taking additional protective actions.
Lopez said almost every indicator used to determine the Risk Dial has improved over the past few weeks in Lancaster County.
“We’re happy to see sustained improvement in our local situation,” Lopez said. “At the same time, we’re also aware of how quickly our situation can change. The future of this pandemic remains uncertain, but right now, we are very encouraged by our progress.”
The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks:
The weekly number of new COVID-19 cases has now declined for six consecutive weeks. Cases dropped from 430 the week ending February 19 to 264 the week ending February 26.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally dropped from 141 at the beginning of February 54 on February 27, a decline of about 62%. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally today is 41, with 26 from Lancaster County.
The positivity rate is just slightly higher than the previous week – up from 8.1% to 8.3%.
32 Lancaster County residents have died from COVID-19 in February.
All Lancaster County residents ages 5 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. More than 66% of all Lancaster County residents are fully vaccinated, and about 60% percent of residents ages 12 and up have now received a booster or third dose.
The latest public health guidance and vaccine information is available at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.
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