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Covid Dial Moves Down To Yellow

Lincoln, NE (February 9, 2021)  Lincoln’s Covid 19 Risk Dial moved down to the Yellow or “Moderate Risk” category today.  After ten weeks in the Red and two in the orange, the dial’s movement represented another drop in the risk level described by Health Professionals.  “Think of the Yellow like a streetlight:  reminding you to be cautious” said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird as she announced the change.

38,703 doses had been administered in Lancaster County as of Tuesday afternoon.  Just over 11,000 people had received their second vaccination.  “We encourage everyone to receive the vaccine just as soon as it’s available to them” the Mayor said.  She added that the health department will receive 25% more vaccine this week.   The increased allotment will lead to two more mass vaccination clinics this coming weekend…Friday and Saturday…at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.  Both will be reserved for people 75 and over.

The dial has not been in yellow since late August. Before moving to orange in mid-January, the dial had been red for 10 consecutive weeks.  On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk. The dial is updated every Tuesday.

Several changes to the Directed Health Measure (DHM) will go into effect Friday, February 12 and will be in effect through March 12:

  • Gatherings will be limited to no more than 75 percent of occupancy indoors and in confined outdoor spaces, with no limit on the total number of individuals.
  • Events with more than 500 people may take place after event approval is received from LLCHD.
  • Occupancy at restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments will be increased to 75 percent of occupancy.  Parties will continue to be limited to eight or fewer individuals and must remain at least 6 feet apart.  Individuals will no longer have to remain seated, however anytime individuals are not seated at their tables they must be wearing a face covering unless they are also eating or drinking.
  • Each youth sport participant may have four spectators, and a venue may seek approval from LLCHD to allow additional spectators if the venue can accommodate increased capacity.
  • Groups of youth sport spectators are still limited to eight or fewer individuals, and groups must remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • Concessions at youth sports events will be allowed.
  • Gym occupancy is increased to 75 percent of occupancy.
  • Childcare facilities will be allowed to otherwise resume normal operations, subject to heightened sanitation and COVID-19 mitigation included in the DHM.

The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks.

  • The number of new weekly cases dropped from 1,207 the week ending January 1 to 425 the week ending February 6, a decline of nearly 65 percent.  Lancaster County has now had 12 consecutive days with the number of new daily cases being under 100.   The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases also dropped from 144 cases on January 22 to 61 on February 6.
  • Over the last five weeks, the positivity rate has dropped from a near all-time high of 32.7 percent to 20.3 percent the week ending February 6.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally has declined from 116 on January 16 to 45 this past weekend, a drop of more than 60 percent.  The seven-day rolling average for COVID hospitalizations has also decreased for 20 consecutive days

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