Following the second straight week of the COVID-19 Risk Dial being in the red or "severe risk" position, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) is reminding the public to avoid all gatherings with people outside of their homes. Health Director Pat Lopez encourages residents to take a close look at holiday plans and to be willing to postpone gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
"Unfortunately, the holidays have arrived at a time when the risk of spreading the virus is at its highest," Lopez said. "We all have to weigh our desire to be together with the risk of exposing ourselves and our loved ones to a dangerous virus. We urge the public to examine the risks and make wise choices about holiday gatherings."
LLCHD recommends that individuals planning gatherings should take these steps:
Those who do plan gatherings should hold them outdoors if possible. Indoor spaces should allow for at least six feet of distancing at all times and proper ventilation. Guests should not share food or utensils and should wear masks except when eating. The host should disinfect all surfaces frequently.
While the Risk Dial is in the red position, residents are advised to follow these general recommendations to protect themselves and others:
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, repeated shaking with chills, repeated muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. If you have symptoms, please get tested. Testing is now open to all Lancaster County residents by appointment only.
For more information, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.