Monday April 12 COVID-19 update: New York variant identified in Nebraska

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: Apr. 12, 2021 at 12:44 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.

New York variant B1.526 identified in Nebraska

The Department of Health and Human Services and Nebraska Public Health Lab confirmed that the New York COVID-19 variant, B1.526, has been identified in the state.

Officials say there’s an investigation underway and ongoing and the initial case was identified as a Douglas County resident.

“We have continued to stress that Nebraskans cannot let up on our mitigation efforts and testing remains critical against not only the spread but preventing another major surge of COVID-19 cases. As these variants continue to be discovered in the state, vaccinations, testing, masking, and distancing remain the best defenses we have in this fight. I strongly encourage that individuals continue to get tested, especially if they have symptoms and have not yet been vaccinated.”

Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone

The B1.526 variant has been spreading specifically in the northeast of the U.S. and it’s still being studied for the level of contagiousness and severity. Officials say it’s expected for vaccinations to remain effective.

Douglas County making more walk-in appointments available

The Douglas County Health Department is making a change to one of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics to allow for more opportunities for walk-in appointments.

According to a DCHD news release, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, the clinic at 35th and L streets, in the Stockyards Plaza, will become a regular walk-in clinic — no appointment needed. Other clinics may also take walk-ins during the week as they’re able, the release states.

“Advance appointments aren’t filling up as fast as they have been,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said in the release. “With more people eligible for the vaccine, we are looking for this change to make it easier for them to get into a clinic.”

CVS Pharmacy locations in Nebraska are participating in vaccine

On Monday, officials from CVS Health announced they will vaccinate eligible people on Wednesday, April 14. The 11 CSV Pharmacy locations are in Omaha, La Vista, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Norfolk.

Appointments will be available to book started Tuesday, April 13 and people have to register in advance online, through the CVS Pharmacy app, or by phone if they don’t have online access. The number to call is the CVS customer service at (800) 746-7287.

They say walk-ins are not allowed without an appointment. These locations will also administered the vaccine to K-12 teachers and staff and childcare workers.

Think Whole Person Healthcare has availability for appointments

A spokesperson with Think Wholeperson Healthcare says there are about 48 Moderna vaccines and 12 Johnson & Johnson vaccines they need to schedule appointments for.

People can schedule an appointment online.

Douglas County cases update

DCHD said Monday an additional 382 positive COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend and reported the area positivity rate had increased from 22.5% to 27.5% in a week’s time.

The health department has reported a total of 68,739 positive cases since the start of the pandemic. To date, 61,470 have recovered from the virus.

No additional deaths were reported Monday, so the local pandemic death toll remains at 685.

The local rolling average on Monday was 162 cases, more than twice the level it was at three weeks ago.

Douglas County hospitalizations have decreased, moving from 84% on Saturday to 74% on Monday, with 386 beds available. ICU beds were occupied at 70%, with 71 beds available. But COVID-19 hospitalizations had increased, according to DCHD reports, from 126 on Friday to 136 on Monday. Of those patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Monday’s report, 41 of them were in ICUs, up from 38 on Friday; and 16 were on ventilators, up from 12 on Friday.

The health department is also monitoring 10 more people who may have COVID-19.

Nebraska tweaks virus rules for people who had COVID-19

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska residents who have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the last three months are no longer required to quarantine if they get exposed to the virus again, but they’ll still have to wear a mask in public. A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administrator said Monday that the agency plans to update its public health requirements this week to match new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, people who were exposed to the virus were required by the state’s health directives to self-isolate at least 14 days.

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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.

STOCKYARDS PLAZA WALK-IN CLINIC: COVID-19 vaccinations will be available to walk-ins — no appointment needed — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, at the clinic in the Stockyards Plaza, located at 35th and L streets. Other clinics may also take walk-ins during the week as they’re able.

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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