The Perfect Enemy | COVID-19 Risk Dial for Lincoln, Lancaster County increases to mid-yellow
December 10, 2022
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LINCOLN, Neb. (Press Release) – The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) announced Tuesday that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will move from low yellow to mid-yellow as some key indicators are showing an increase. 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 increased over the last week – from 210 to 273 for the week ending November 12.
  • The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations increased – from 40 last week to 48 today.
  • Wastewater surveillance showed a decrease in the number of virus particles compared to the previous week.
  • Two COVID-19 deaths were reported last week – a woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and not vaccinated. LLCHD also received a report for one death that occurred in February – a woman in her 90s who was hospitalized and vaccinated. The total is 459.

“This rise in cases and hospitalizations is happening right as we enter the holiday season – a prime time for indoor events and gatherings where respiratory viruses can spread more easily. If you’re eligible for an updated booster, I strongly recommend you get it now to help you stay healthy this winter and protect against severe illness if you do get COVID-19,” said Pat Lopez, Health Director.

In addition to staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, the Health Department recommends the following actions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick
  • Wash hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a mask if you have symptoms
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

The Health Department encourages people to follow the public health guidance posted at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.

Vaccinations:

COVID-19 vaccination helps prevent severe illness and hospitalization and saves lives. COVID-19 vaccine is approved for everyone age 6 months and older. Updated booster doses are approved for everyone age 5 and older.

The updated boosters, also known as bivalent boosters, have an advantage – they restore the body’s immunity against COVID-19 and protect against variants circulating in the community, which weren’t included in the previous vaccines. Even if residents have had other COVID-19 boosters, it’s important to get the new one. Residents can receive the updated booster at least two months after a previous booster or completing the primary series.

Upcoming clinics (schedules subject to change) – Appointments are encouraged and may be scheduled online at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-4200. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Vaccine for children under age 5:

  • Mondays, 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. throughout November (No clinic on November 24), LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.

Updated booster dose clinics for children ages 5 to 11:

  • Wednesdays, (No clinic on November 23) – 4 to 6 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.

Updated booster dose clinics for ages 12 and older:

  • Friday, November 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
  • Monday, November 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., LLCHD

Local pharmacies also offer updated boosters by appointment to those eligible. Visit vaccines.gov to find a pharmacy near you.

Vaccinations administered:

  • Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 236,171
  • Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 220,922
  • Lancaster County residents who are fully vaccinated: 69.2%
  • Booster doses: 137,410

Clinic media note:

Media will be notified regarding coverage of vaccinations. Media must make arrangements with LLCHD prior to visiting any venue.

COVID-19 testing:

LLCHD has distributed most of its supply of at-home test kits. The Health Department expects to receive more test kits in the coming weeks and will let residents know when they are available. For more information on COVID-19 at-home testing resources, visit covidtests.gov.

Lancaster County residents can report results of their at-home COVID-19 tests to the Health Department. The form is available at lincoln.ne.gov/COVID19ReportResults. All information is confidential. People who require assistance completing the form may call LLCHD at 402-441-8006 for assistance.

The Food and Drug Administration 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.