Lincoln, NE (December 6, 2022) The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will move up to elevated yellow as several key indicators continue to increase. The yellow position on the dial indicates that the risk of the virus spreading in the community is moderate. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk.
The position of the risk dial is based on multiple indicators:
- Cases increased again over the last week – from 279 to 458 for the week ending December 3.
- The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations increased – from 49 last week to 54 today.
- Wastewater surveillance continued to show an increase in the number of virus particles compared to the previous week.
- No COVID-19 deaths were reported last week. The total remains at 462.
“We expected to see a bump in some of our key indicators after Thanksgiving, but what we don’t want to see is our numbers continue to go up,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “There’s still time to get an updated booster and have the benefit of added protection as we spend time with others for the holidays and into the New Year.”
The majority of recent cases have been in people who were not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
Local data shows that 51% of adults age 65 and older; 13% of those age 16 to 64; and 5% of children age 5 to 15 have received the newest booster. Even if you’ve had other COVID-19 boosters, it’s still important to get the new one now. The bivalent booster offers a big benefit. It provides protection against variants circulating in the community, which weren’t included in the previous vaccines and it also restores the body’s immunity against COVID-19. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations helps prevent severe illness and hospitalization and saves lives.
COVID-19 is just one of several respiratory viruses currently circulating in the community. The Health Department encourages people to follow the public health guidance posted at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov. Actions that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 can also help prevent the spread of flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory illnesses.
Vaccinations: COVID-19 vaccine is approved for everyone age 6 months and older. Updated booster doses are approved for everyone age 5 and older and can be administered at least two months after a previous booster or completing the primary series.
Upcoming clinics (schedules subject to change): Appointments are encouraged and may be scheduled online at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-4200. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Vaccine for children under age 5*:
- Mondays, 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. throughout December, LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
Updated booster dose clinics for children ages 5 to 11*:
- Wednesdays, 4 to 6 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for ages 5 and older*:
- Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
*There are no clinics on December 23 and 26.
Local pharmacies also offer updated boosters by appointment to those eligible. Visit vaccines.gov to find a pharmacy near you.
- Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 236,565
- Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 221,222
- Lancaster County residents who are fully vaccinated: 69.3%
- Booster doses: 138,357
Information on COVID-19 at-home testing resources can be found at covidtests.gov.
Lancaster County residents can report results of their at-home COVID-19 tests to the Health Department. The form is available at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19ReportResults. All information is confidential. Those requiring assistance completing the form may call LLCHD at 402-441-8006.
The Food and Drug Administration extended the shelf lives of many home COVID-19 tests. To determine if a test has a new expiration date, visit At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests | FDA.
For more information on testing or other COVID-19-related topics, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the LLCHD hotline at 402-441-8006.