COVID-19 Risk Dial remains in elevated yellow for fifth week
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced on Tuesday that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will remain in elevated yellow for a fifth week. The yellow position on the dial indicates 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 position of the risk dial is based on multiple indicators:
- Cases decreased more significantly over the past week – from 455 to 319 for the week ending September 17.
- Wastewater surveillance showed the number of virus particles decreased over the past week.
- The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations increased slightly – from 33 last week to 36 today.
The Health Department encourages people to follow the public health guidance posted at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov, which includes staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Health Department recently announced additional clinics that will offer the new, updated boosters in September and October. Residents age 12 and older are eligible to receive an updated booster at least two months after their last booster or since completing the primary series. Upcoming clinics include:
- Friday, September 23, 4 to 7 p.m. Lincoln High School, 2229 “J” St.
- Sunday, September 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lincoln High School
- Monday, October 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Drive
- Tuesday, October 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena
- Wednesday, October 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena
The clinics are by appointment. People can schedule an appointment online at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-4200. The updated boosters, also known as bivalent boosters, do two things:
- Provide protection against variants circulating in the community right now, which weren’t included in the previous vaccines
- Increase the body’s immunity against COVID-19
There is potential for an increase in COVID-19 infections this fall and winter. The updated booster will better protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The Health Department encourages people who are eligible to get an updated booster as soon as possible, especially anyone over 65 and those who have weakened immune systems.
Other recommendations in the public health guidance include:
- Wear a mask if you have allergy, cold or COVID-19 like symptoms, have a positive COVID-19 test, or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
- Wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by your vaccination status and level of risk.
- Get tested or self-test if you have allergy, cold or COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- If you test positive, ask your health care provider about COVID-19 treatments that may be available to you or find a test and treat location at covid.gov.
- If you test negative but continue to experience COVID-like symptoms, follow up with your health care provider.
- Those over age 65 and people with medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consult with their health care providers about taking additional protective actions.
The Health Department reminds residents that free home COVID-19 test kits are available in the main lobby of the LLCHD, 3131 “O” St., during regular business hours. Test kits are also available at all Lincoln City Library locations. Residents can report results of their at-home tests to the Health Department. A short form is available at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19ReportResults.
The Food and Drug Administration recently extended the shelf lives of many home COVID-19 tests. To determine if a test has a new expiration date, visit At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests | FDA.
For more information on COVID-19, vaccine or to find upcoming clinic dates and locations, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department at 402-441-4200.
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