Lincoln, NE (December 28, 2022) The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will remain in elevated yellow for a fourth week. 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 over the last week – from 457 to 362 for the week ending December 24.
- The 7-day rolling average of hospitalizations decreased – from 54 last week to 49 today.
- Wastewater surveillance showed an increase in the number of virus particles compared to the previous week.
- One COVID-19 death was reported last week: A man in his 80s who was not hospitalized and not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations*. The total is 470.
*Vaccinated individuals who are considered up to date have completed the COVID-19 primary series and received the most recent booster doses recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
LLCHD recommends the following preventive actions to help residents celebrate safely and stay healthy over the New Year’s holiday:
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an updated booster, and get an annual flu vaccine.
- Take an at-home COVID-19 test if attending a gathering or event, or if you have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with COVID.
- Stay home if you’re sick and avoid contact with others who are sick.
- Wash hands often.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Wear a mask if you have cold, flu or COVID-like symptoms.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
The Health Department also encourages people to follow the public health guidance posted at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.
Vaccinations: Over the last month, more than 70% of COVID-19 cases have been in people who were not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations helps prevent severe illness and hospitalization and saves lives.
COVID-19 vaccine and updated booster doses are approved for everyone age 6 months and older.
The Health Department reminds residents that benefits of the bivalent booster include protection against variants circulating in the community 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 new one now.
Now available – Updated boosters for younger children: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently approved updated COVID-19 booster doses for children under age 5. LLCHD will offer updated boosters to this age group starting Thursday, December 29 at the Health Department, 3131 “O” St.
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*:
- Thursday, Dec. 29, 1 to 4:30 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
- Thursday, Jan. 5, noon to 4 p.m., LLCHD
- Monday, Jan. 9, 8 a.m. to noon, LLCHD
- Thursday, Jan. 12, noon to 4 p.m., LLCHD
Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for children ages 5 to 11*:
- Wednesday, Dec. 28, 4 to 6 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
- Wednesday, Jan. 11, 4 to 6 p.m., LLCHD
Updated booster dose and primary series clinics for ages 5 and older*:
- Friday, Dec. 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD, 3131 “O” St.
- Friday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD
- Monday, Jan. 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., LLCHD
- Friday, Jan. 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., LLCHD
*There are no clinics on Monday, January 2, 2023.
Local pharmacies also offer updated boosters by appointment to those eligible. Visit vaccines.gov to find a pharmacy near you.
- Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 236,724
- Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 221,400
- Lancaster County residents who are fully vaccinated: 69.4%
- Booster doses: 138,902
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.