LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced on Tuesday that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will move to low yellow as several key indicators continue to show improvement. 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 decreased again over the last week – from 176 to 152 for the week ending Jan. 21.
- The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations decreased – from 40 last week to 35 today.
- Wastewater surveillance showed a significant decrease in the number of virus particles compared to the previous week.
- One COVID-19 death was reported last week – a man in his 50s who was up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations* and not hospitalized. The total is 473.
*Vaccinated individuals who are considered up to date have completed the COVID-19 primary series and received the most recent booster doses recommended for them by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccinations: COVID-19 vaccine and updated bivalent booster doses are approved for everyone age 6 months and older. The Health Department strongly recommends residents stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations including getting the bivalent booster if they haven’t already.
Benefits of the bivalent booster include protection against variants that weren’t included in the previous vaccines, and restoration of the body’s immunity against COVID-19. Even if you’ve had other COVID-19 boosters, it’s still important to get the updated one.
Upcoming clinics (schedules subject to change): Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be scheduled online at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-4200.
- Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for children under age 5
Mondays, 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
- Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for children ages 5 to 11
Wednesdays, 4 to 6 p.m., LLCHD
- Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for ages 5 and older
Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD
Local pharmacies also offer the COVID-19 primary series and updated boosters by appointment to those eligible. Visit vaccines.gov to find a pharmacy near you.
- Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 236,979
- Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 221,614
- Lancaster County residents – fully vaccinated: 68.3%
- Lancaster County residents – up to date: 18.5%
Clinic media note:
Media will be notified regarding coverage of vaccination clinics. Media must make arrangements with LLCHD prior to visiting any venue.
Dashboard/Risk Dial Metrics Updated:
The Health Department recently added enhancements to the COVID-19 dashboard including a new section on wastewater testing and the percentage of Lancaster County residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. Charts and visuals showcasing this data were also added. 2021 Lancaster County population estimates are now incorporated into the dashboard, which are based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Percentages may adjust slightly due to the increase in population for Lancaster County. The dashboard is updated Monday through Friday.
Wastewater testing and up to date indicators are now part of the Risk Dial metrics. The COVID-19 Risk Dial is a tool developed by the Health Department early in the pandemic response as part of a data-driven approach to help clearly communicate the risk of spread and impact of COVID-19 in Lincoln and Lancaster County.
The COVID-19 dashboard, Risk Dial metrics, and current public health guidance are available at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.
At-home test kits are available in the main lobby of the LLCHD, 3131 “O” St., during regular business hours. Test kits are also available at all Lincoln City Library locations.
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. Those requiring assistance completing the form may call LLCHD at 402-441-8006.
Every home in the U.S. can order another round of free, at-home tests from the federal government this winter. Visit covidtests.gov to place an order. 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.
For more information on testing or other COVID-19-related topics, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the LLCHD hotline at 402-441-8006.
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