COVID-19 Risk Dial Remains in Red Position

Published on January 11, 2022

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today announced that the COVID-19 Risk Dial will remain in red position for a second consecutive week, 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 number of new cases reported in Lancaster County last week was 2,893, the highest weekly total since the pandemic began. “We continue to see new cases of the delta variant and are also now on the front end of the omicron surge,” said Health Director Pat Lopez. “We’re urging all members of our community to take action now to help themselves and their loved ones slow the spread of infections. Taking these actions will help keep our schools open and access to health care available and will limit disruptions in business and government services.”

   LLCHD urges residents take the following precautions:

  • For at least the next three to four weeks, limit interactions outside the home by traveling only to work or school, to buy food or get medical care, or to get tested or vaccinated.
  • Get vaccinated or boosted now.
  • Mask up indoors around other people from outside your household.
  • Avoid crowds, and don’t attend big events such as concerts and athletic events. If you choose to take the risk, wear a mask. 
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms which can be similar to cold or flu symptoms. 
  • Get tested if you have been exposed to someone who has the virus. 
  • If you are sick, stay home and away from others.  
  • Watch your distance and wash your hands. 

Updated guidance and recommendations can be found at

The position of the Risk Dial is based on multiple local indicators and information from the previous three weeks. 

  • Over a two-week period, the number of new cases increased from 982 to the new high of 2,893, an increase of 195%. The seven-day rolling average of new cases has increased from 27 per day on December 26 to 410 at the end of last week, an increase of 223%. 
  • The positivity rate increased from 16.7% on January 1 to 22.6% at the end of last week.
  • The 7-day rolling average of COVID patients hospitalized locally shows a steady increase from 112 on December 24 to 123 on January 8.  Hospitalizations rose to 131 patients on Sunday, and today, the hospitals report 142 patients.
  • Twelve local residents have died in January.

Lancaster County continues to lead the state in overall vaccination rate and booster rate. The County also continues to lead the state in the percentage of those fully vaccinated among all age groups, with the exception of the 18 to 24 age group.

All Lancaster County residents ages 5 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, Pfizer booster doses were approved for those ages 12 through 15. More than 700 children in that age group have now received their boosters. 

Almost 65% of all Lancaster County residents are now fully vaccinated. About 53% of residents age 16 and older have now received a booster dose or third dose. About 26% of children ages 5 through 11 are fully vaccinated.

Residents may walk into any clinic or schedule an appointment at Residents can also find a local pharmacy offering vaccinations at or by texting their ZIP code to 438829. Those who don’t have online access or need assistance can call 402-441-4200.

For general information on COVID-19, visit or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.



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