The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today said 73 percent of all new COVID-19 cases this week occurred in those under age 40, and 25 percent of them occurred in those under age 20. So far this month, 65 percent of all new cases have occurred in those under age 40. Health Director Pat Lopez said most of the cases before this month were in the 20 to 59 age group.
"Our investigators are hearing many individuals report that they went to bars, attended social gatherings, went camping with large groups, or had taken part in team sport activities with no masks or face coverings," Lopez said. "This again highlights that all of us need to take precautions to stop the spread of this virus and to keep ourselves and others safe."
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird urged those under age 40 to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "As you emerge into more familiar activities out in public, please keep in mind that you are at risk of contracting the virus, even if you are at a much lower risk of dying from it," she said. "Because, at your age, you are more likely to be an asymptomatic spreader of the disease, you may inadvertently and unintentionally spread the virus to others more at risk than you - maybe to someone in your family who is older or to a neighbor who is going through chemotherapy or to a niece with juvenile diabetes. Please keep our whole community in mind as you step out from staying at home more often."
Despite the increase in cases in the under-40 age group, Lopez said the total number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the community continues to decline to an average of about 17 cases per day. The number of cases is one of the factors LLCHD uses to determine the setting of the COVID-19 Risk Dial at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov. For the third week, the dial will remain at the mid-yellow level, indicating a moderate risk of the spread of COVID-19. On the color-coded Dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest. The Dial is updated every Friday.
The other four factors LLCHD uses to determine the risk for spread in Lancaster County also remain steady.
In addition to the testing available from BryanHealth.com, CHIHealth.com and TestNebraska.com, LLCHD continues to offer additional testing for minority populations who may speak English as a second language. The next free testing event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 30 in the parking lot south of the LLCHD offices at 31st and "O" streets. LLCHD is encouraging members of the Hispanic community to participate although this testing is open to all - even to those who have no symptoms. Registration is required by calling 441-8006.
More information on COVID-19, the City's response, the latest Directed Health Measures for Lancaster County, and testing is available at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.