VIDEO: Risk dial drops to yellow, two more vaccination clinics
This video is a recording of an event previously live-streamed.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Three big announcements were made at Lincoln Mayor’s weekly coronavirus press conference over the topics of the COVID-19 Risk Dial, mass vaccination clinics, and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
Risk Dial drops to yellow
The Risk Dial hasn’t been in the yellow, or moderate, range since late August.
“Think of yellow on the dial like yellow on a streetlight signaling you to be cautious,” Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird explained.
Although caution is still stressed, the dial change comes with new, relaxed Direct Health Measures (DHMs).
These DHMs will be in effect from Friday, Feb. 12 to mid-March:
- Gatherings are limited to no more than 75% of occupancy indoors and in confined outdoor spaces, with no limit on the total number of individuals.
- Events with more than 500 people may take place following LLCHD’s approval.
- Occupancy at restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments will be increased to 75%. Parties will still be limited to eight or fewer individuals. Patrons will no longer have to remain seated but must be masked when they are not seated
- Concessions at youth sports events will be allowed.
- Gym occupancy is increased to 75%.
- Childcare facilities can resume normal operations, with heightened sanitation and COVID-19 mitigation included in the DHM.
According to Health Director Pat Lopez over the past five weeks, the county’s weekly case numbers have dropped “nearly 65%.”
Our hospitalizations have also dropped 60% between Jan. 16 and Feb. 6.
As for today, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) announced 54 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 27,256.
The total number of community deaths remain at 209.
More than 11,200 people have recovered from the virus, with more than 71,600 people have registered for the vaccine.
So far, 42 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 (27 from Lancaster County). A total of five patients are on ventilators.
More mass vaccination clinics
In the next several weeks, Lancaster County is expected to receive a 25% increase in our vaccine allotments. Because of this, two more mass vaccination clinics will be held this Friday and Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr.
Both clinics will be open to residents 75 years or older, who have registered with the county or state. Spouses of eligible residents are ALSO ELIGIBLE to be vaccinated at these clinics.
A total of 4,800 vaccines are expected to be administered over these two days.
If you are a Husker fan, you may be asking ‘What about the basketball games scheduled this weekend?’ Lopez said the vaccination clinics will not be impacted by the Husker games and vice versa.
“The University athletic staff worked with us and the Big Ten, and with Pinnacle, and we didn’t have to make any adjustments. They prioritized the need to get our elders and our community vaccinated. So we’re very grateful for the strong partnership we have with them.”
LLCHD is also monitoring the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The FDA will be discussing whether it should receive emergency authorization on Feb. 26.
If approved, Nebraska could be seeing even more vaccine doses come in.
Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will roll out in Nebraska this week.
“The goal is to increase COVID-19 vaccinations across the country,” Lopez said. “And it is rolling out incrementally based on the available vaccine supply with select retail pharmacies.”
Participating pharmacies will receive their own vaccine allocations from the federal government, independent from what the health department receives.