Wednesday April 07 COVID-19 update: 2nd California strain confirmed in Nebraska

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 8:06 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.

Nebraska confirms 2nd California strain present

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday confirmed that a second California variant was reported in the state this week. In total, 237 variant COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state: 187 of the UK variant, 48 cases of the California variants, and two cases of the Brazil variant.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased across the state, currently at 151 patients in Nebraska hospitals. On average, according to a DHHS release, hospitals had an average of 134 COVID-19 patients per day this past week; daily averages in prior weeks were 106, 121, and 124.

“The ages of those hospitalized are trending younger,” according to the state release. In March, the average age of Nebraskans hospitalized with COVID-19 was 51, down from 61 in January. DHHS attributes this to the fact that a significant portion of the older population has been vaccinated, while simultaneously, the more cases of virus variants are causing more infections and serious illness in younger Nebraskans.

DHHS reported on Wednesday that it had confirmed 212,785 positive cases, with 164,680 Nebraskans recovered from COVID-19. To date, 2,183 Nebraskans have died from COVID-19.

Douglas County cases update

The Douglas County Health Department said Wednesday it had confirmed 236 new positive cases of COVID-19 and one related death.

A man older than age 85 had died from COVID-19, bringing the local death toll to 685, according to the report.

To date, the county has confirmed 67,797 total cases of COVID-19 to date — the same total as in Tuesday’s report, but still accurate, a DCHD spokesman said, noting that state data updates sometimes prompt adjustments in numbers as case locations are corrected.

DCHD also confirmed COVID-19 and 61,091 recoveries.

The local seven-day rolling average is 153 cases — twice as high as it was two weeks ago, and the highest level since late January.

Hospitalizations were at 76%, with 366 beds available, the DCHD release states. ICU beds were occupied at 75%, with 85 beds available. DCHD also reported that 102 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, 38 of them in ICUs, and 13 on ventilators.

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

Three Rivers reports UK variant cases

Three Rivers Public Health Department reported three new positive cases of the COVID-19 UK variant; two were found in Dodge County and a third in Washington County.

Three Rivers also raised its risk dial this week, from 2.14 to 2.29, which is the same level all three counties in the health district are also at this week.

Dodge and Saunders counties also increased from 2.14 to 2.29, but Washington County actually improved, moving from 2.43 to 2.29 it was at last week.

The health district attributed the increases to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in most areas. It also noted that it was seeing an increase in weekly positivity, a decrease in the availability of ICU beds, but an increase in the percentage of available ventilators.

To date, Three Rivers has administered 32,997 COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Wednesday news release, and encouraged all residents to get vaccinated. The health department posted on Facebook just after 6 p.m. Wednesday that it was out of vaccine at its Midland clinic.

Three Rivers Community Risk Dials Update

Posted by Three Rivers Public Health Department, Nebraska on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Doane students vaccinated at campus clinic

(KOLN) - More than 300 Doane students got the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, getting the Crete campus one shot closer to being back to normal.

“It’s been a long year and it’s great to know I’ll be able to be protected from COVID-19, not only myself but I’ll be able to protect my friends and family too,” Doane senior Becca Jerina said.

Jerina, along with nearly a third of Doane’s campus, chose to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine Wednesday afternoon, in an on-campus clinic put on by the local health district, Public Health Solutions.

“We are so happy we were able to do this; vaccines are one step to getting us back to how we were before the pandemic, getting back to that community experience,” Rachel Czerny, Wellness Director for Doane University said.

Iowa City quarantines students, staff amid variant concerns

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa City school district says 127 students and five staff members tested positive for the coronavirus or are presumed positive. That has prompted the district to close 11 classrooms and quarantine more than 660 students and 16 staff members due to exposure.

The district was dealing with the infections as Gov. Kim Reynolds maintained Wednesday at a news conference that the virus is not transmitted in schools. Reynolds noted she wasn’t familiar with the Iowa City situation.

A school district spokeswoman said over the past few weeks contact tracing for confirmed virus cases in school buildings has revealed an increase in the number of students identified as close contacts to confirmed cases.

Please get vaccinated! Cases are on the rise again among individuals ages 20-39. There are many appointments still...

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Help us SHARE the word that vaccines are available for even those outside Saunders County. Share the link: Be Well

Posted by Saunders Medical Center on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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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