Lincoln-Lancaster County COVID Risk Dial Moves Up Again
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Aug. 17, 2021, 4 p.m. ·
Lincoln’s COVID-19 risk dial has moved up for the second straight week, now at “low orange” for the first time since early February. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported 111 new COVID cases Tuesday and the positivity rate has jumped from 3% at the beginning of July to 12% at the end of last week. At a briefing, Health Director Pat Lopez said there’s a good reason for the increases.
“It’s important to understand that the delta variant is driving the increases we are seeing in our community and across the country,” Lopez said. “The delta variant is different. It’s hitting people faster and harder and it’s causing more people to get sick and have more severe illness, particularly among those who are unvaccinated.”
The number of Lancaster County residents hospitalized with COVID-related illnesses has more than doubled since the beginning of August. Lopez said there is some good news; vaccination rates continue to improve over the past several weeks.