Covid Risk Dial Moved Down To Yellow — Risk Of Virus Spread Now “Moderate”

Lincoln, NE (October 12, 2021)  Health Director Pat Lopez declared today that the City and County strategy for fighting Covid-19 is working.

“The drop in cases started shortly after the mask mandate was instituted” Lopez said, noting that the number of daily cases has dropped from an average of 135 to 75 recently.  The positivity rate for tests has also dropped from around 10% to around 8% percent she said.

Lopez said the number of daily cases needs to drop to the mid 40’s before the mask mandate can be lifted.  Likewise, she said, the positivity rate needs to drop to around 5% or less.

Lopez compared Lancaster to Douglas County.  She noted that Lancaster County’s case numbers have experienced a steady decline since the mask mandate was re-instituted.  Over the same time, she said, Douglas County has experienced a moderate decline, with an up and down pattern.

“Our department has taken measured steps to slow the virus and save lives.  This approach has continued to serve us well” she said.

Hospital capacity, she said, is still a serious concern.  Lincoln’s hospitals are currently caring for 108 covid patients, with 59 of them from Lancaster County.  Hospital admissions, she said, are an indicator of the coming death rate.

The Risk Dial metrics have improved, she said, but four remain in the orange range, two are in the yellow range, and one, testing turn around time, is in the green category.  All that allows the movement of the Risk Dial from Orange to Upper Yellow, indicating a moderate risk of spreading the Corona Virus.

“Our numbers are turning in the right direction” Lopez said.  She added, however, that all residents need to continue following safety measures such as masking and hand sanitizing , and urged all those not yet vaccinated to get the shots. “About 65,000 residents who could be vaccinated still are not” she said, adding that 29,000 children will be eligible to receive the shots if the FDA approves.