The COVID Risk Dial turned yellow, with restrictions easing in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Nebraska (KOLN) – Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Department of Health announced Tuesday that the COVID-19 risk dial has been raised from orange to yellow, indicating that the risk of spreading the virus in the community is moderate.

“Yellow means the risk of COVID-19 spreading is moderate,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “Think of yellow on the dial as yellow on a street lamp, warning you to be careful. We still have to be careful. We don’t want that to change from yellow to red. We need to continue with three Wt and avoid three Ct. Still, this is still just the best news we have had to share with you for months.

The dial has not been yellow since the end of August. Before turning orange in mid-January, the dial was red for 10 consecutive weeks. 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 Tuesday.

A number of amendments to the managed health measure will enter into force on Friday 12 February and will enter into force by 12 March:

Meetings are limited to a maximum of 75% occupancy indoors and indoors, without limiting the total number of individuals.

Events above 500 people can occur once the event has been approved by the LLCHD.

Occupancy of restaurants, bars and other catering units increases to 75% of occupancy. Parties will continue to be limited to a maximum of eight people and must be at least 6 feet apart. Individuals no longer need to stay seated, however, whenever people are not sitting at their table, they should wear face shields unless they eat or drink.

Each youth sports participant may have four spectators and the venue may request LLCHD approval to allow additional spectators if the venue is able to accommodate increased capacity.

The group of spectators of youth sports is still limited to a maximum of eight individuals and the groups must be at least 6 feet apart.

Discounts are allowed at youth sports events.

Gym utilization increases to 75% utilization.

Childcare facilities may otherwise begin to resume normal operation, subject to increased hygiene conditions and COVID-19 mitigation in the DCM.

The status of risk dialing is based on several local indicators and information from the previous three weeks.

The number of new weekly cases fell from 207 in the week ending January 1 to 425 in the week ending February 6, a decline of nearly 65%. Lancaster County now had 12 consecutive days, with less than 100 new daily cases. The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases also fell from 144 cases on January 22 to 61 on February 6.

Over the past five weeks, the rate of positivity has fallen from its all-time high of 32.7% to 20.3% in the week to Feb. 6.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally fell from 16 January to 116 last weekend, a drop of more than 60%. The seven-day rolling average of COVID hospital care also decreased for 20 consecutive days

The LLCHD reported that 54 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Lancaster County, bringing the total to 27,256 in the community. The number of deaths in the community remains at 209.

Visit to access a dashboard that summarizes Lancaster County COVID-19 data. The LLCHD also released the following information:

Recoveries: 11,207

Weekly positivity:

Between January 31 and February 6: 20.4%

February 7-9: not available

Hospital care in COVID-19 positive patients: 42 with 27 from Lancaster County (on four ventilators) and 15 from other communities (on one ventilator).

Vaccine registration: 71,650

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