Thursday April 08 COVID-19 update: Douglas County reports increase in positive cases among young people

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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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.

Positive cases increasing among young people in Douglas County

The Douglas County Health Department reported 198 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday while also sharing summary data from March, which saw a 22% increase in positive cases compared to February, the DCHD release states.

Most notable in that increase was among teens and children. In the span of a month, DCHD said, positive cases among teens and youth under age 19 rose 42%, and a 158% spike was reported among children age 4 and younger, mostly attributed to a UK variant outbreak reported at a daycare.

The health department also noted that positive cases had risen among school-aged children, ages 5-17, by 36%. Positive cases among young people ages 20-34 saw an increase of 31%.

Thursday’s report from DCHD also included COVID-19 totals from local schools. In the past two weeks, K-12 school reported 100 positive cases, including 82 students and 18 staff. In addition, the release states, 128 people are in quarantine, and another 225 are self-monitoring.

“DCHD is strongly encouraging everyone 16 years of age and older to go to our website at and make an appointment to be vaccinated,” the health department’s Thursday news release states. “This is especially true if you expect to be around younger children who cannot yet get the vaccine.”

Douglas County cases update

DCHD on Thursday reported 68,195 positive cases locally since the start of the pandemic, and 61,310 recoveries. No additional deaths were reported Thursday, so the local pandemic death toll remains at 685.

The local rolling average on Thursday was 154 cases.

The health department also reported that local COVID-19 hospitalizations were up again, and capacity at area hospitals had also increased.

Douglas County hospitals were at 77%, with 327 beds available, according to the DCHD release. ICU beds were occupied at 77%, with 79 beds available. DCHD also reported that 117 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, 42 of them in ICUs, and 12 on ventilators.

The health department is also monitoring three more people who may have COVID-19.

Nebraska colleges won’t require students to be vaccinated

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska State College System and the state’s largest private colleges all said this week that they have no plans to require students or staff to get vaccinated.

A spokesperson from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln told 6 News on Thursday that UNL would also not require students to have their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“UNL has no plans to require students to be vaccinated, even though we do encourage students to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available to them,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Creighton University and the University of Nebraska – Omaha said Monday that they also would not be requiring students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but still encouraged students to do so.

UNL spokeswoman Leslie Reed said the university believes the shots are a good idea but it won’t mandate them. Several private schools, including Hastings College and Midland University, hosted vaccine clinics on their campuses Wednesday to make it easier for students to get their shots.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More younger people hospitalized in Nebraska

(AP) - A growing number of younger people are being hospitalized with the coronavirus in Nebraska as more contagious variants of the virus spread in the state.

Nebraska health officials said the average age of hospital patients declined to 51 in March from 61 in January.

Officials said the age is also shifting lower because a significant number of older people have been vaccinated. The number of people hospitalized is also growing and it hit 161 Wednesday as the state reported more cases of the virus.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska nearly doubled over the past two weeks to 491.29 new cases per day on Tuesday.

Lincoln-Lancaster County update

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department on Thursday reported an additional COVID-19 death. The death of a man in his 70s who had been hospitalized with the virus brings the community’s pandemic death toll to 229.

LLCHD also reported 49 additional positive cases for a total of 30,044 since the start of the pandemic. To date, 26,891 in the community have recovered from the virus.

This week’s positivity rate in the Lincoln area is 5.3%, up from 4.9% the week ending April 2.

So far, 121,364 in that community have received the initial dose of their two-shot vaccinations, with 74,640 people considered fully vaccinated, including those who have received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

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Vaccination clinics

Nebraska DHHS

North Omaha: Vaccinations will be distributed Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha campus, located at 5300 N. 30th St. Appointments will be made through the state’s vaccination registry.

Federal Retail Pharmacy Program: Pharmacies in and near the Omaha-metro area currently participating in the program include:

  • Medicine Man Pharmacy, 15615 Pacific St. Suite 8, Omaha NE 668118
  • Think Aksarben Pharmacy LLC, 710 W. Center Road, Omaha NE 68106
  • ViaRx, 825 N. 90th St., Omaha NE 68114
  • Walmart, 3010 E. 23rd St., Fremont NE 68025

Pharmacies in and near the Omaha-metro area that will be added to this list include:

  • The Nebraska Medical Center Bellevue Pharmacy, 2510 Bellevue Medical Center Drive, Suite 100, Bellevue NE 68123
  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy, 5150 Center, Omaha NE 68106 NE
  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy, 1000 South 178th St., Omaha NE 68118
  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy, 14591 Stony Brook Blvd., Omaha NE 68137
  • Nebraska Medicine Pharmacy at Lauritzen Outpatient Center, 4014 Leavenworth St., Omaha NE 68198

Retail pharmacy vaccine sign-ups: Hy-Vee | Walmart | Sam’s Club | Kohll’s

Douglas County

Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination clinics for eligible residents are offered by appointment at the following locations:

  • CHI Immanuel Medical Center, located at 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway.
  • Methodist Health System, 720 N. 114th St.
  • Nebraska Medicine Testing & Vaccination Clinic, located at 144th Street and Millard Avenue.
  • Creighton University’s Rasmussen Center, located at 702 N. 17th St.
  • Douglas County Health Department vaccination site – South Omaha, 3505 L St. (former Hy-Vee location). The site replaces the clinic formerly available at the Kroc Center.

TEMPORARY CLINIC: Douglas County health officials are planning a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Relevant Community Church in Elkhorn.

TOTAL WELLNESS: DCHD has been working with Total Wellness, located at 9320 H Court, to establish a vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting April 1.

VETERANS: 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.

LA VISTA CLINICS: A second-dose clinic will be held April 18 — three weeks after the first-dose clinic on Sunday, March 28 — at the Embassy Suites LaVista Conference Center, located at 12520 Westport Parkway.

Sarpy/Cass County

Sarpy/Cass County Health Department is planning several vaccination clinics in upcoming weeks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the dates below for residents born in 1961 or earlier, and Phase 1A and 1B populations. Get the link to sign up for an appointment on the health department’s website.

  • TUE April 6 – Beardmore Event Center (Courtyard by Marriott), located at 3730 Raynor Parkway, Bellevue.
  • WED April 7 – La Vista Conference Center (Embassy Suites), located at 12520 Westport Parkway.

LA VISTA CLINICS: A second-dose clinic will be held April 18 — three weeks after the first-dose clinic on Sunday, March 28 — at the Embassy Suites LaVista Conference Center, located at 12520 Westport Parkway.

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.

DOUGLAS COUNTY HELPLINE: Local COVID-19 information, in Spanish and English, is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except holidays. Call 402-444-3400 for assistance.

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

Retail pharmacy vaccine sign-ups: Hy-Vee | Walmart | Sam’s Club | Kohll’s

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 quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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