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Lincoln’s Covid Risk Dial Moving Down But Still Orange

Lincoln, NE (February 2, 2021)  Lincoln’s Covid-19 Risk Dial dropped from “Elevated Orange” to “Mid Orange” for the coming week, signaling another decline in the number of virus cases and hospitalizations. Hospitalizations are down, the positive rate of tests are down, and other indicators are falling also.  Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Health Director Pat Lopez appealed to the public, however, to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.

“We are on the verge of getting the upper hand on this virus” said Lopez.  “The risk of this virus spreading in this community is still high, and we have many months to go before everyone is vaccinated.”

The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks.

  • Testing numbers continue to be down, and last week’s numbers were impacted by the snow storm.  Drive-through testing sites were closed for a few days, and fewer people ventured out to clinic offices or pharmacies to get tested.  As a result,  just over 2,000 tests were completed last week, about 1,300 fewer than the previous two weeks.  LLCHD reminds the public that testing remains widely available in Lincoln and is a very valuable tool in preventing the spread of the virus.
  • The low testing numbers are one reason for the lower number of new cases reported. For the week ending January 30, 546 cases were reported, the lowest number of weekly cases since mid-September.  The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases dropped from 144 on January 22 to 78 on January 30.
  • The positivity rate also decreased from 29.2 percent the week ending January 23 to 26.7 percent the week ending January 30.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally continues to decline.  From mid-December through January 20, hospitalizations stayed at about 100 patients.  Over the past two weeks, local hospitalizations have dropped to about 50 to 60 patients.

Officials announced that the next large scale vaccination clinic will be held Friday at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.  It will be held specifically for people over the age of 80.  All members of the Public are urged to sign up for a vaccination at the Health Department’s website, covid19.lincoln.ne.gov.

The Mayor’s Office also asked that only those who need to use the phone option to sign up.  Lopez said thousands of people called Tuesday morning to sign up, overwhelming the staff’s ability to handle the calls.  Those over 80, and those without access to the internet, are invited to call if needed to sign up.

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