Risk Dial Pushed Up By Rising Case Numbers

Lincoln, NE (November 16, 2021)  Over the past week, it became increasingly evident that the Covid 19 Risk Dial was not likely to drop today.  Daily case numbers have been over 100 much of the past week, making it likely the rolling average would be higher.  As figures were released today, the new daily average was 112.  Hospital patient numbers have also increased in the past week, with about 80% of those requiring hospital care unvaccinated.

“Local hospital capacity continues to be a serious concern for the entire community” according to Health Director Pat Lopez.

Lincoln Pulmonologist Kevin Reichmuth added to the figures.  “We are operating under a very strained capacity” he said.  “No matter where you look, Omaha, North Platte, Grand Island, the story is the same.  We are seeing a stable to increased number of hospitalizations that continue to strain the system.”  He agreed that about 70% of those seeking hospital care are unvaccinated.  “As has been stated millions of times, vaccination is highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.”

Reichmuth said that many people are placing misinformation about vaccinations on social media. “This is preventable, we have an excellent tool that is safe and effective, and it’s not too late to get vaccinated.”

Lopez reported one additional death in Lancaster County today.  She was a woman in her 50’s.

Due to the increasing number of cases and the strain on hospital capacity, Lopez raised the Covid Risk Dial from the low to the mid orange section, indicating a higher risk of spread for the virus.  “We continue to feel the impact of the Delta Variant on our community, and our local situation is growing more serious” Lopez said.

She urged everyone eligible, including children, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.