Covid Risk Dial Moves Down To Green
Lincoln, NE (March 22, 2022) With cases, dwindling down to single digits and low teens on a daily basis, the Covid-19 Risk Dial has been moved down to the Green range, indicating a “LOW” Risk of community spread of the virus.
Opening the bi-weekly briefing, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird noted that this past Sunday marked the two year anniversary of the first case of Covid in Lancaster County. “It became clear that protecting our community during this pandemic would require a long term effort” she said. The Mayor noted that the risk dial was down to the green level for ten weeks last summer, but spiked upward again with the arrival of the contagious Omicron variant.
“We reached this milestone because of you, our residents, and the positive steps you have taken to protect yourselves and your community” the Mayor added.
Just over 66% of the Lancaster County population is now fully vaccinated. The Mayor urged everyone who is not yet vaccinated to take the shots.
Health Director Pat Lopez said local indicators have dropped rapidly. The risk dial peaked on February 8th and has been moving downward since then.
“Hospitalizations remain the only factor in yellow” Lopez said. Hospitalizations have dropped from 135 in February to 29 at the end of last week.
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 declined to 89 the week ending March 19. It’s the first time the number of weekly cases has dropped below 100 since late July 2021. The number of new cases per week has dropped steadily since the week ending January 15, when nearly 5,000 new cases were reported.
- The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally has continued to decline since early February and is down to an average of 29. Today, the hospitals report 33 patients, with 23 from Lancaster County.
- The local positivity rate has been below the 5% threshold for three consecutive weeks and was down to 3.4% the week ending March 19.
- Three COVID-19 deaths have been reported so far in March.
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% 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.