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Friday April 16 COVID-19 update: South Africa variant confirmed 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. 16, 2021 at 1:37 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 DHHS confirms first South African variant case

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that health officials are investigating a confirmed case of the B.1.351 COVID-19 variant, known as the “South African variant,” in Lancaster County.

DHHS said the CDC has stated that the variant is found in less than 1% of cases.

To date, the state has confirmed a total of 291 other variant cases: 234 cases of the B.1.1.7 or UK variant; 54 cases of the B1.427/B1.429 or California variant; one case of B1.526 or New York variant; and two cases of the P1 or Brazil variant.

Officials say to date, over 35% of Nebraskans are fully vaccinated.

“Nebraska has done a great job with its vaccination rollout. I am pleased to report that 70% of residents 65 and older are fully vaccinated and that percentage is continuing to increase. This pandemic can only be slowed through vaccination and employing mitigation efforts such as masking and distancing. Vaccination is our greatest hope for preventing another major surge of COVID-19 cases and getting our great state back to normal. I strongly encourage that individuals continue to get tested, especially if they have symptoms. Now that the vaccine is available to anyone 16 or older, we all should get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone

Douglas County daily cases update

DCHD reported on Friday that two women in their 70s had died of COVID-19, bringing the local death toll to 687. One of the deaths occurred in April, the DCHD release states.

An additional 135 positive cases of COVID-19 were also reported on Friday, bringing the local case total to 69,310. The rolling seven-day average is 142 cases, down from 148 on Thursday.

The health department has reported a total of 61,996 COVID-19 recoveries to date.

Douglas County hospitals were 79% full, with 313 beds available. ICU bed occupancy is at 71%, with 97 beds available, according to Friday’s DCHD release. There are 122 COVID-19 hospitalizations locally, 37 are in ICUs, and 18 are on ventilators.

DCHD is also monitoring four more people who may have COVID-19.

Iowa identifies Brazil coronavirus variant case

(AP) - At least two coronavirus variants are present in Iowa.

One first identified in Europe is now believed to be the most prevalent strain in the state while public officials say they have confirmed a case of the more recent Brazil strain in eastern Iowa.

The European variant is believed to be about 50% more infectious than the original virus strain but health officials say they are not seeing more severe illnesses from it. They believe the current vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness.

The Brazil variant was found in Johnson County by a state lab conducting genetic sequencing. It is still under study to determine vaccine effectiveness. Iowa reported 519 new confirmed cases on Friday and 13 additional deaths.

Offutt AFB will be offering all active duty personnel and their spouses, veterans and VA eligible beneficiaries and...

Posted by Sarpy/Cass Health Department on Friday, April 16, 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 | Baker’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

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

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