Patricia Lopez, RN, MSN, Health Director, 402-441-8000
COVID-19 Risk Dial Remains in Red
Changes to Directed Health Measure take effect November 16
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today said the COVID-19 Risk Dial remains in red, indicating that the risk of the virus spreading in the community is severe. On the color-coded dial, red represents the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, and green represents the lowest risk. The dial is updated every Friday.
The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks. Health Director Pat Lopez said three key factors are keeping the dial in red.
In just three weeks, the number of weekly cases has nearly doubled, from 645 the week ending October 17 to 1,246 cases this past week. So far this week, 1,336 new cases have been reported, another new weekly high.
While the number of tests completed per week has stayed fairly consistent, the positivity rate nearly doubled in just two weeks from 13.3 percent the week ending October 24 to 25 percent the week ending November 7.
In less than three weeks, Lincoln hospitals have seen the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 nearly triple, from 51 on October 26, to 142 patients as of midnight last night.
"Today, I call on everyone in Lincoln once again to help save lives, to help keep schools and businesses open, and to help prevent the collapse of our health care system," Mayor Gaylor Baird said. "Please minimize contact with others and limit activities outside the home unless for work, school, medical care, or food. Help prevent illness and needless suffering - your friend's, your neighbor's or your own - by practicing the three W's: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance, keeping 6 feet of distance from others. For the next three weeks, avoid all gatherings with anyone outside of your home, and if you must go out for essential errands or items, only visit businesses that follow public health guidance."
Health Director Pat Lopez outlined changes to the current Directed Health Measure (DHM). The following changes take effect Monday, November 16:
Indoor gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people or 25 percent capacity to be in line with the state's DHM.
Events in venues with a capacity of 500 or more people must be postponed until after December 7. Previously approved events are subject to review.
Venues with a capacity of 500 or more people that are planning events after December 7 must have an event plan approved regardless of how many people plan to attend that event. Previously, those venues only had to submit plans if attendance was expected to be more than 500.
Bars and restaurants that sell alcohol must end alcohol sales no later than 10 p.m. and must close no later than 11 p.m.
All indoor team sports for youth are postponed until after December 7.
Individuals must wear masks indoors unless no one else is in the same room and they can maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others at all times.
Companies licensed to allow consumption of alcohol on city streets such as pedal pubs and party buses may not operate until after December 7.