LINCOLN–(KFOR Sept. 28)–After five weeks in the mid-orange range, Lincoln’s COVID-19 risk dial has lowered to the low-orange range of the high risk category and the mask mandate will be extended until Oct. 28 at 11:59pm, despite the number of indicators showing improvement in daily cases, lab reporting and contact tracing.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department on Tuesday said the seven-day rolling average has dropped from about 140 on Aug. 29 down to 90 on Sept. 22. Health Director Pat Lopez says the positive rate of cases remains in the red and the number of hospitalizations remains in the orange range. Lopez says the risk of COVID-19 spread in Lincoln remains high and data shows the situation is still critical and the community is not in the position to end the indoor mask requirement.
“We must exercise caution and not remove measures too soon, only to have numbers quickly reversed and starting heading in the wrong direction,” Lopez added. ”
There were 112 COVID-19 patients in local hospitals, with 56 patients coming from Lancaster County. Three more deaths were reported in Lancaster County on Tuesday, a man and woman in their 70s and a woman in her 50s, of them not being vaccinated.
Lancaster County continues to have the highest vaccination rate in the state, with 73.7% of residents ages 16 and over fully vaccinated. But Lopez reminded residents that the County’s total population is over 319,000, and the vaccination rate for all residents is 59%. About 21% of the total population, about 67,000 people, are eligible for vaccination, but have not yet received a dose.
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 general information on COVID-19, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.