Health Officials Move COVID-19 Risk Dial To Mid-Yellow Range In Lincoln
LINCOLN–(News Release Aug. 5)–The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial is moving from low-yellow to mid-yellow. The change indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on our community has increased, but it still moderate. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk. The dial was in green for ten weeks before moving to low-yellow July 27.
Health Director Pat Lopez said COVID-19 cases continue to rise quickly. The delta variant now represents more than 80% of the virus circulating in the U.S. and is the most frequently identified variant in Nebraska and Lancaster County. Lopez said local data shows that unvaccinated individuals are seven times more likely to be infected with COVID-19, and more likely to be hospitalized.
The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks:
- The seven-day rolling average of new cases increased from nine cases per day on July 1 to 48 cases July 31.
- The number of new cases was 4.5 times higher in July than in June, and 566 cases or 70% of all July cases were reported in the final two weeks of the month.
- The seven-day rolling average for local COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 14 patients on July 1 to 43 on July 31.
While no further public restrictions are being implemented at this time, LLCHD has updated the public health guidance at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov:
- Masks continue to be recommended for people who aren’t vaccinated in both indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings.
- Adults over age 65, anyone with underlying health conditions and other populations at heightened risk from COVID-19, should consider further precautions, even if they are vaccinated. Those precautions include wearing a mask in indoor public settings and avoiding close interactions with people who are unvaccinated. You may want to consult with your health are provider about additional steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Everyone who has COVID-like symptoms should wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
- For an additional layer of protection, people who are vaccinated may consider wearing a mask in indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings where distancing is difficult.
Lopez said everyone should continue to monitor their health and to be on the alert for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COVID-19. Even if you are vaccinated, you should separate yourself from others and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
For more information, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.