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Tuesday March 9 COVID-19 update: Douglas County aims to start vaccinating ages 50+ on April 1

Get an update on COVID-19 cases, testing, and vaccinations below; plus find helpful links for...
Get an update on COVID-19 cases, testing, and vaccinations below; plus find helpful links for more information and resources, including phone numbers to call for help getting signed up for your vaccine.(Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 2:07 PM CST
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WOWT) - Below are today’s vaccination updates as well as data reports on new cases and other COVID-19 stats reported by health officials across Nebraska and Iowa.

Keep scrolling to find helpful links and other information, including phone numbers to call for help getting signed up for your vaccine.

Pottawattamie County vaccination clinic Saturday

The Pottawattamie County Public Health Department will have a vaccine clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

County residents ages 65 and older are asked to sign up via the Pottawattamie County vaccination website. Anyone needing assistance can also call the Connections Area Agency on Aging at 712-328-2540 to sign up for an appointment over the phone.

Douglas County residents age 50+ on deck for vaccination

A Douglas County Health Department spokesman said plans are underway to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccination to residents ages 50-64 starting April 1, but stopped short of guaranteeing the date.

County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said in her report to the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that for the rest of March, the 10% of doses allocated by the state will move to Tier II, which prioritizes infrastructure such as meat-packing plants, grocery workers, and U.S. Postal Service employees, among others.

After that, she said, vaccination opportunities will be made available to the general population by age. The county plans to roll out the vaccine in five-year increments, as the county did with prioritization for the older age groups.

The county is also working to determine how to qualify those with pre-existing conditions for the Phase 2A vaccination priorities. Officials say they want to leave that decision to doctors and hospitals and not to the county to determine those who would qualify to receive a vaccination ahead of their assigned age group.

The county will provide local health systems access to set appointments for those patients as they see fit, Pour said.

Douglas County vaccine update

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said Tuesday the county received 17,200 doses last week, including 5,000 “bonus” doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination. The county administered 6,220 of those doses — all J&J vaccine plus the full 10% allotment of doses from the state — to educators, she said.

Two large vaccination clinics for educators were conducted Saturday at North and Millard high schools, she said. They were completely paperless and “seamless,” Pour said, praising the work of her staff and the schools over the weekend to get those clinics set up.

There are 19,200 doses in the community this week, Pour said. Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are also receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses this week, she said. Most Hy-Vee pharmacies in the county are also assisting with vaccinations, she said.

One World is also getting 2,000 Johnson & Johnson doses, Pour said, and they are helping to vaccinate meat-packing plant employees at those plants since they’re seeing fewer people ages 65 and older coming in for vaccinations.

The county won’t be receiving any COVID-19 vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson this week or next, she said.

So far, 180,121 doses of vaccine have been administered in the county, 144,983 of them to Douglas County residents. Of those, 89,560 are first doses.

She said 21% of the county’s population has received a single vaccination dose.

Pour said 55,423 have received “full vaccine,” meaning they have received two doses of Pfizer of Moderna vaccinations or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We still have to really reach out to our minority population,” Pour said, reporting that 79% of the county’s vaccines have been administered to the county’s white community, 6.7% to African-Americans, 4.9% to Hispanics, and 3.1% to Asians.

Nebraska confirms more cases of virus variants in the state

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska health officials continue to identify more cases of different variants of the coronavirus in the state.

The state said Monday that five cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom and 14 cases of a variant first identified in California have now been confirmed. Both of those variants of the virus are believed to be more easily transmitted.

State officials said they expect to receive 82,430 doses of the vaccines this week. That may lead to a small drop in the number of people vaccinated in the state this week after officials vaccinated 90,461 people across Nebraska last week.

Douglas County case update

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said Tuesday morning in her report to the Board of Commissioners that the county is seeing 18.3 new cases per 100,000, which is higher than the lowest point — 14.6 per 100,000 — reported Feb. 19.

Pour said there has been a slight increase in week-to-week cases in the county for two weeks in a row. Last week, there was a 6.8% increase in positive cases, and this week, the county saw an increase of 10.8% increase.

The week-to-week positivity rate also increased slightly, from 5.5% to 5.9%, she said.

There have 64,535 cases in the county since the start of the pandemic, she said.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have stabilized, Pour said, as the county has had fewer than 90 COVID-19 hospitalizations each day since March 1. Last night, the county had 89 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 36 in ICU, and 17 of them on ventilators.

To date, the county has confirmed 673 COVID-19 deaths for a case fatality rate of 1.04%, Pour said. Two COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed in the county so far this month, she said.

“(We’re) kind of in a stable phase, I would say,” Pour said. “We are not decreasing as we have decreased in February, but we are also not really increasing significantly. So low county transmission rate in the community.”

Pour also reported that four of the seven cases of UK COVID-19 variants confirmed in Nebraska were Douglas County residents; 11 of 16 California variants identified in the state were also Douglas County residents. No hospitalizations have yet been associated with those local cases, she said.

CHI Health Immanuel is a COVID-19 vaccine site for the Douglas County Health Department. We're getting people vaccinated...

Posted by CHI Health on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Vaccination clinics

Douglas County

Until further notice, Douglas County clinics will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible residents at the following times and locations:

  • TUE/WED – Christ Community Church, located at 404 S. 108th St., clinics will provide vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • WED/FRI – CHI Immanuel Medical Center, located at 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway, vaccinations will be given from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • THU/SUN – Nebraska Medicine Testing & Vaccination Clinic, located at 144th Street and Millard Avenue, vaccinations will be given from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
  • SAT – Creighton University’s Rasmussen Center, located at 702 N. 17th St., vaccinations will be administered from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Methodist is also planning to staff a Miracle Hills clinic on Saturday, March 13, Dr. Adi Pour said. Also on Saturday, the Nebraska Medicine clinic and another clinic at Norris High School will focus on vaccinating educators, she said.

Any eligible veterans can go to the Omaha VA Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics’ walk-in hours from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the new Ambulatory Care Center.

Pottawattamie County

The Pottawattamie County Public Health Department will have a vaccine clinic 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

County residents ages 65 and older are asked to sign up via the Pottawattamie County vaccination website. Anyone needing assistance can also call the Connections Area Agency on Aging at 712-328-2540 to sign up for an appointment over the phone.

Off-line help

NEBRASKA VACCINE HOTLINE: Gov. Pete Ricketts has asked Nebraskans to call 402-552-6645 or toll-free at 833-998-2275 for more information on the Nebraska COVID-19 vaccination process. DO NOT call your local health department.

TEST NEBRASKA HOTLINE: To get answers about Test Nebraska tests, results, communications, etc., call 402-207-9377.

IOWA VACCINE HOTLINE: Older or home-bound Iowans looking for help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment can call 1-866-468-7887 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; or contact Connections Area Agency on Aging at 712-328-2540 or 1-800-432-9209.

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

Resource links

Vaccine sign-up: Douglas County | Sarpy/Cass | Three Rivers | Nebraska

Vaccine dashboard: Nebraska | Iowa

Vaccine information: Douglas County | Douglas County clinics | Nebraska | Nebraska FAQ | Nebraska timeline | Nebraska Phase 1A tiers | Nebraska Phase 1B tiers || Iowa | Pottawattamie County | Mills County | Fremont County

COVID-19 dashboards: Douglas County | Sarpy County | Three Rivers Health District | Lancaster County | Nebraska | Iowa | Worldwide

School dashboards: Omaha Public Schools | Millard Public Schools | Bellevue Public Schools | Westside Community Schools | Gretna Public Schools | Elkhorn Public Schools | Lincoln Public Schools | UNL | Midland University

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

WOWT.com quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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