Thursday Sept. 3 COVID-19 update: 114 new cases in Douglas County; 5 Masters Elementary staff test positive

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 10:54 AM CDT
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(WOWT) - Here is a summary of new cases and other COVID-19 stats reported today by health officials across Nebraska & Iowa.

Douglas County cases update

The Douglas County Health Department on Thursday reported 114 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 13,717.

There have been no new reported deaths. The total number of deaths remains at 164.

To date, 9,675 county residents have recovered, according to the release.

Five staff at Masters Elementary test positive

The principal at Masters Elementary School, located near 99th and Fort streets, announced Thursday that five staff had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to student families, Principal Lynette Keyes said three of the staff members had reported positive tests in the past 24 hours; the other two were reported in the past two weeks. Contact tracers would be working to identify any other potential exposures, the email states.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the email states, teachers who had been conducting remote-learning from the school will be doing so from home until Sept 14. The change was not expected to impact students’ remote-learning schedules.

Test Iowa sites closed on Labor Day

All Iowa test sites, including clinic sites, will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

Sites will reopen regularly on Tuesday, September 8.

Lincoln-Lancaster County update

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced 108 new cases. The new community total is 4,308.

The number of deaths remains at 20.

Lincoln also reports 1,876 recoveries.

Douglas County Health Director report for August

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said Thursday in an update on the county’s COVID-19 data that the county is seeing about 104 new cases per day, but she would like to see the numbers fall to an incremental goal of 50 cases per day.

Of the cases reported to date:

  • 62% are younger than age 40
  • 13% are ages 30-39
  • 28% are ages 20-29
  • 76 Native Americans have tested positive since the start of the pandemic
  • 10% are Black
  • 25% are Hispanic
  • 37% are white, which marks the first time since the start of the pandemic that whites made up the majority of cases in Douglas County
  • 70%, or 9,675 cases, have recovered

Updating hospital capacity, Pour reported:

  • 216 medical surge beds are available, which means the county has a 83% occupancy rate
  • 58 adults are in the ICU, giving the county an 83% occupancy rate for ICU beds as well
  • 14 patients are on ventilators
  • 10 pediatric ICU beds are available

The county has 69 COVID-19 patients, “and that’s actually a very low number,” Pour said.

In the beginning of August, she said, the high was about 100-135 COVID-19 patients, with the highest number since the pandemic occurring on May 27 with 163 patients.

Pour said the county currently has a 1.2% death rate, which compares to the national death rate of 3.1%. 164 deaths on the dashboard, but said an additional death was reported: an 89-year-old woman with underlying conditions.

Before listing the breakdown of COVID-19 deaths that have occurred in the county thus far, the health director also took time to break down how COVID-19 information gets included on death certificates, as the document allows for up to four causes that can be listed as cause or as significant health conditions of the person who died.

She noted that 32% of COVID-19 deaths in Douglas County also had cardiovascular disease as an underlying condition, as compared to 36% nationally. Other death information provided by Dr. Pour:

  • 75.6% above age 65
  • 15% are ages 55-64
  • 5.5% are ages 45-54
  • 2.4% are ages 35-44
  • 1.2% are ages 20-34

Pour also acknowledged three larger clusters that DCHD is keeping an eye on: corrections facilities, long-term care facilities, and Creighton University.

The health director also gave an update on the COVID-19 impact on Douglas County schools:

  • 67 students have tested positive
  • 55 staff have tested positive
  • 752 staff/students are quarantined

REFERENCE NOTE -- 6 News pulls data from Nebraska and Iowa COVID-19 dashboards at 6 p.m. daily. All other reports in this post come from official news releases from area health departments and other authorities as stated.

Resource links

COVID-19 dashboards: Douglas County | Lancaster County | Nebraska | Iowa | Worldwide

School dashboards: Millard Public Schools | Bellevue Public Schools | UNL | Midland University

COVID-19 risk dials: Omaha-Douglas County | Lincoln-Lancaster County

COVID-19 information: Latest updates | Resources

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This report includes material from the Associated Press.