Lincoln, NE (January 11, 2022)  With local Covid-19 cases increasing rapidly, the risk of spread remains severe, according to Health Director Pat Lopez.  “We continue to see new cases of the Delta variant, and we are on the front edge of the Omicron spread” she said.

Lopez issued a set of recommendations, urging the public to go out only for work, school, by food, or get medical care or vaccinations.  Also, to avoid crowds, large gathering and events such as sports and concerts.

The Covid 19 Risk Dial remains in the Red for the coming week.

Last week, Lancaster County had nearly 2,900 cases, the highest weekly total since the beginning of the Pandemic.  “Over a two week period, we had increase of 195% percent” she said, adding “unfortunately we are likely to see the numbers rise.”  The seven day rolling average of new cases now stands at 410.

Lopez released statistics indicating that Covid-19 is infecting younger people in greater numbers than before, that the positivity rate is rising, and the number of cases continues to strain hospital capacity.  The daily average number of patients in Lincoln’s hospitals stands at 123, a slight rise over last week.

Lopez reported one death today, a man in  his 70’s.  His death was the twelfth in January in Lancaster County.

“If you don’t think our situation is urgent, you’re wrong” she said.  “If you’re taking preventative measures, I thank you.”

Lopez urged all citizens to take preventative measures, including getting the Covid-19 vaccination.

She also announced that more testing will be available.  Starting Thursday, Total Wellness, an Omaha wellness company, will open a testing station at 19th and O Streets in downtown Lincoln.  NOMI Health will add a lane to its testing station at Gateway.  Both require appointments.