Health Department Offering New Updated Covid Boosters – Risk Dial Remains Yellow
Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vials (getty images)

Lincoln, NE (September 13, 2022)  The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will stay in elevated yellow for a fourth week as key indicators remain stable. 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 decreased over the past week – from 476 to 455 for the week ending September 10.
  • Wastewater surveillance showed the number of virus particles remained the same over the past week.
  • The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations decreased slightly – from 39 last week to 33 today.

The Health Department encourages people to follow the public health guidance posted at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov, which includes staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Updated Booster Dose Clinics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently approved updated boosters for everyone age 12 and older. People can receive the updated booster at least two months after a previous booster or completing the primary series. Pfizer’s updated booster is for those age 12 and older. Moderna’s updated booster is for adults age 18 and over.

“More than 74% of COVID-19 cases in the last month have been in people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines or are unvaccinated,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “These updated boosters provide protection against variants circulating in our community right now and boost the body’s immunity against COVID-19. We encourage people who are eligible to get an updated booster as soon as possible.”

The Health Department will be providing updated booster doses by appointment only at designated clinics, starting with people age 65 and older and people age 12 and older who are immunocompromised. The Health Department is currently contacting people in these groups by email or phone to schedule an appointment for their updated booster. More clinics and age groups will be added in the near future.

Other recommendations in the public health guidance include:

  • Wear a mask if you have allergy, cold or COVID-19 like symptoms, have a positive COVID-19 test, or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
  • Wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by your vaccination status and level of risk.
  • Get tested or self-test if you have allergy, cold or COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • If you test positive, ask your health care provider about COVID-19 treatments that may be available to you or find a test and treat location at covid.gov.
  • If you test negative but continue to experience COVID-like symptoms, follow up with your health care provider.
  • Those over age 65 and people with medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consult with their health care providers about taking additional protective actions.

The Health Department reminds residents that free home COVID-19 test kits are available in the main lobby of the LLCHD, 3131 “O” St., during regular business hours. Test kits are also available at all Lincoln City Library locations. Residents can report results of their at-home tests to the Health Department. A short form is available at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19ReportResults.

The Food and Drug Administration recently 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 COVID-19, vaccine or to find upcoming clinic dates and locations, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department at 402-441-4200.