Covid Risk Dial Remains In Red Zone

Lincoln, NE (12-29-2020) Lincoln’s Covid Risk Dial will remain in the Red Zone through the New Year’s observance and into 2021.  The announcement came as the City-County Health Department announced that two more people died in Lincoln from the virus today, and that 173 new cases were confirmed.  The deaths included two men in their 60s and 70s who were hospitalized.

To date, 22,236 cases have been confirmed in Lincoln as a result of testing.  The death toll to date is 150.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird urged LIncolnites to “stay strong” and practice all the well -known measures to avoid coming into contact with the virus and spreading it.  She added there are several key concerns right now:  They include an uptick in hospitalizations, a downturn in testing numbers, and the coming New Year’s Holiday.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department also announced that Lancaster County has the lowest COVID-19 case rate – the number of cases per 100,000 population – of the five most populous counties in the State.  Health Director Pat Lopez said data also shows that Lancaster County has the second lowest COVID-19 fatality rate – the number of deaths per 1,000 COVID-19 cases – of the 18 local health districts in the State.

“We recognize that there are many factors that can impact the rates statewide,” said Lopez. “But this data shows that we have made a difference by our individual and collective action – local Directed Health Measures, business adaptations and adoptions of protocols, a mask mandate, and the commitment of our residents to do their part to protect one another.”

As of December 26, Lancaster County’s COVID-19 case rate was 6,895 cases per 100,000 population.  Douglas County’s rate was about 9,000 cases and Hall  County’s was about 9,495 cases per 100,000 population.  Lancaster County’s fatality rate on December 26 was 6.6 deaths per 1,000 cases.  Douglas County’s rate was 9 deaths and Hall County’s was 15.8 deaths per 100,000 population.  (The charts are attached)

Lopez said Lancaster County has so far received 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and about 4,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with another 1,100 doses scheduled to be delivered later this week.  With vaccine supply limited, only those in Phase 1A are now being vaccinated. Hospitals are vaccinating health care providers, and LLCHD has vaccinated more than 300 emergency medical technicians. Starting this week, some long-term care facilities are vaccinating staff and residents through a program that partners the facilities with participating pharmacies that coordinate on-site vaccination efforts. Lopez said that vaccinations will soon be available for others who are in Phase 1A, including home health and hospice care providers, as well as school nurses.