LINCOLN–(News Release Aug. 31)–The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) on Tuesday announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will remain in mid-orange for a second consecutive week. Mid-orange indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on our community is high and continues to increase. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk.
The Directed Health Measure (DHM) remains in effect through September 30. It requires all individuals ages two and older – regardless of vaccination status – to wear a face mask when they are in an indoor space. The DHM requires all building operators and owners to ensure their patrons ages two and older wear masks. For a list of exceptions to the mask requirement and more information on the DHM, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call 402-441-6280.
So far this month, 27 local residents have died from COVID-19, the most deaths in one month since February. Twenty-two were unvaccinated and five were vaccinated.
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 daily cases has leveled off at about 125.
- The local positivity rate has dropped from 13% to 10%. That rate still indicates that the delta variant continues to be widespread in Lancaster County.
- The seven-day rolling daily average of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally increased to 84 on August 28.
- This past week, the number of COVID-19 tests conducted increased from about 8,200 to almost 11,000. This is the tenth week in a row that testing has increased.
The percent of the Lancaster County population age 16 and older that is fully vaccinated is now 70.8 percent. Nearly 21,000 Lancaster County residents were vaccinated over the past five weeks. About 60 percent were initiating vaccination, and about 40 percent were getting their second dose. Every age group starting with age 45 has reached the goal of having at least 75% of the population fully vaccinated.
Health Director Pat Lopez said everyone should continue to monitor their health and to be on the alert for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COVID-19. Even if you are vaccinated, you should separate yourself from others and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
For general information on COVID-19, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.