LINCOLN, Neb. (press release) — The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced Tuesday that the COVID-19 risk scale will remain at medium amber. The yellow position on the dial means that the risk of the virus spreading in the community is moderate. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of spreading COVID-19 and green represents the lowest risk.
The Risk Dial position is based on several local indicators:
- Cases are up slightly from the previous week – up from 397 cases to 422 cases in the past week through May 21.
- Wastewater analysis shows a decrease in virus particles.
- The local positivity rate fell from 14% to 12.3% in the week ended May 21.
- The data show no significant changes in COVID-19 hospitalizations. There was a decrease from a seven-day average of 23 patients on May 14 to an average of 19 on May 23. Today, local hospitals are reporting 19 COVID-19 patients, including 16 from Lancaster County.
- One death from COVID-19 has been reported in May so far.
Public health guidance is available at covid19.lincoln.ne.gov. Recommendations include the following:
- Get vaccinated and refreshed.
- Wear a mask if you have COVID-19-like symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
- Get tested or test yourself if you have COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- If you test positive, ask your doctor about COVID-19 treatments you may have available or visit covid.gov for a place to find tests and treatments.
- Individuals over the age of 65 and those with medical conditions associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease should consult with their healthcare provider about taking additional protective measures.
First booster doses were recently approved for children aged 5 to 11 years. LLCHD is currently awaiting final guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be announcing further details on offering booster doses to this age group shortly.
LLCHD strongly encourages anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and boosted. All Lancaster County residents age 5 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and first booster shot. Persons aged 50 and over and persons aged 12 and over with a weakened immune system are entitled to a second booster vaccination.
More than 67% of all Lancaster County residents are fully vaccinated, and about 60% of those who are eligible for an initial booster shot have received one.
For information on immunizations and upcoming clinic dates and locations, visit covid19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Public Health Department at 402-441-4200.
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