LINCOLN–(News Release Feb. 23)–The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will move from elevated orange to low orange. The dial has not been at that level since the week of November 9, 2021. While many indicators are improving, the risk of the virus spreading in the community remains high. 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.
“We’re on the right track and continue to see significant improvement. The pandemic is not over, but each week we’re making progress and getting our community to a better place,” said Pat Lopez, Health Director.
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 five consecutive weeks from nearly 5,000 the week ending January 15, to 432 cases the week ending February 19.
- The weekly average of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally has dropped from 141 on February 1 to 61. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally today is 60, with 42 from Lancaster County.
- The positivity rate has also dropped significantly from a high of 30.7% the week ending January 22 to 8.1% this past week.
- 28 Lancaster County residents have died from COVID-19 so far in February.
Lopez also announced that LLCHD has received its allotment of at-home test kits from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The kits are now available in the main lobby of LLCHD, 3131 ”O” Street, during regular business hours. A limited number of kits will be available on a daily basis. Kits will also be available at schools, childcare centers, cultural centers, and other sites for distribution to students or program participants and their families.
The Directed Health Measure with the mask requirement expired last Friday, but LLCHD continues to recommend that residents wear a mask indoors. Masks will still continue to be required for those using public transportation and by most health care facilities. The latest public health guidance is available at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.
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.