Lincoln’s Response to COVID-19

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 1:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and health officials will update the community on the City’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a briefing on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

The COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at a high-risk level (mid-orange).

Mid-orange indicates that the risk of the virus spreading and the impact on our community is high and continues to increase. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk.

Health Director Pat Lopez said hospital capacity continues to be a serious concern. The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals more than doubled from 50 on Aug. 1 to 106 on Sept. 11. Lopez said the increase had slowed at the end of last week and was holding steady at about 106 patients. But she said hospitals have seen another increase in the last couple of days, mostly from patients outside of Lancaster County. Today, 119 COVID-19 patients are reported hospitalized, with 72 from Lancaster County and 47 from other communities. Twenty local patients are on ventilators.

The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks:

Six local residents have died from COVID-19 so far in September. Four were unvaccinated.

The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases decreased from 127 Sept. 2 to 108 Sept. 9.

The community positivity rate has held steady between 10% and 12% for the three weeks ending Sept. 11.

The percent of the Lancaster County population age 16 and older that is fully vaccinated is now 72.2%. Nearly 5,500 vaccinations have been administered so far in September, and more than 3,000 were second doses.

The Directed Health Measure remains in effect through Sept. 30. It requires all individuals ages two and older – regardless of vaccination status – to wear a face mask when they are in an indoor space. The DHM requires all building operators and owners to ensure their patrons ages two and older wear masks. For a list of exceptions to the mask requirement and more information on the DHM, visit or call 402-441-6280.

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 or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.

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