Monday July 26 COVID-19 update: CHI Health considering mandating vaccine for employees

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 12:06 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.

There were no updates posted over the weekend.

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

CHI Health may mandate vaccination for employees

CHI Health’s chief medical officer said Monday that the hospital chain is considering making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for its employees.

“We are certainly encouraging every person we can to get vaccinated now we know how safe it is, we know how effective it is,” Dr. Cary Ward said in an online call Monday.

CHI Health has 32 COVID-19 patients across the system’s Nebraska hospitals. That number had been as low as 14, he said.

“What we do know, the same with us across the state is these are almost all unvaccinated patients,” Dr. Ward said. “There is clearly a problem now with those who are unvaccinated. The vaccine is remarkably effective.”

Nebraska Medicine confirmed Monday that their 25-bed COVID-19 unit is still full.

Douglas County Health Director encourages vaccinations

Citing the spread of the delta variant and noting Nebraska Medicine COVID-19 units had hit capacity for a second day, the Douglas County Health Department urged in its Monday update that anyone not yet vaccinated drop by a clinic to do so.

“The recent increase in cases is mainly due to unvaccinated individuals,” Douglas County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said in a news release. “We are reminding people that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, free, and it works.”

The health department also “strongly encourages” unvaccinated people to consider wearing a mask in public, “especially during indoor situations,” the release states.

DCHD has several vaccination clinics planned for the week. Details are in the social media post below and listed lower in this post.

Vaccinations at National Night Out

Organizers of local National Night Out community events next Tuesday in south Omaha are hoping to get residents in one of the area’s hardest hit by COVID-19 vaccinated.

The Highland South-Indian Hill Neighborhood Association is hosting the vaccination event in partnership with the Douglas County Health Department from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3.

“This zip code was the hardest hit with COVID-19 cases in the county. A majority of the residents belong to groups that were disproportionately affected as well,” said Anita Rojas, president of the HSIH, in a news release Monday.

Metropolitan Community Church is also planning a vaccination clinic during National Night Out near downtown Omaha.

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

(AP) - Several states scaled back their reporting on COVID-19 this month just as cases across the country tripled with the delta variant of the virus spreading quickly among the unvaccinated.

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota was also accompanied by less detail about the virus in Nebraska, and some officials described the move as part of a return to normal. At the same time, the average number of new virus cases nationwide went from 11,500 on June 20 to nearly 38,000 this week. Florida changed to weekly reporting on virus cases in early June.

Public health communication expert Joseph Cappella said the spin that these reporting changes are part of a return to normalcy doesn’t fit with recent case numbers.

Douglas County cases update

DCHD reported Monday it had confirmed 137 new positive cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the local total to 73,077 positive cases.

The seven-day rolling average is now 47, nearly three times higher than it was three weeks ago.

The local death toll remains at 737.

The health department also reported Monday that local hospitals were 78% full, with 334 beds available; and ICU beds were 68% full with 109 beds available. Of those patients, 38 were hospitalized with COVID-19, 15 of them in ICUs, and nine on ventilators. DCHD is also monitoring three other patients for signs of COVID-19.

The DCHD COVID-19 dashboard no longer reports COVID-19 recoveries.

The Delta variant is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated people. Don’t let Delta and other variants slow our progress...

Posted by CDC on Saturday, July 24, 2021

Vaccination clinics

Nebraska DHHS

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

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

Douglas County

Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled at several local schools this week:

  • 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at George Russell Middle School, located at 5304 S. 172nd St.
  • 12:30-6 p.m. at George Russell Middle School, located at 5304 S. 172nd St.
  • 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. at Andersen Middle School, located at 15404 Adams St.
  • Noon-7 p.m. at Omaha South Middle School, located at 4519 S. 24th St.
  • Noon-6 p.m. at Bryan Middle School, located at 8210 S. 42nd St.
  • 2-5 p.m. at Butler-Gast YMCA, located at 3501 Ames Ave.
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bryan Middle School, located at 8210 S. 42nd St.
  • 8-11 a.m. at Andersen Middle School, located at 15404 Adams St.
  • Noon-6 p.m. at Omaha South Middle School, located at 4519 S. 24th St.
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Omaha South Middle School, located at 4519 S. 24th St.
  • 9-11 a.m. at Kingdom Builders Christian Center, located at 4039 Charles St.
  • Noon-3 p.m. at Benson Health at Lake Street Apartments, located at 2400 N. 34th Ave.
Around Omaha

DCHD WALK-IN CLINIC: Friday’s walk-in vaccination clinic is canceled for this week.

CHURCH CLINIC: Metropolitan Community Chuch of Omaha will host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. No ID is required, but a parent or guardian must be present at the clinic with teens ages 12-18.

MCC FORT OMAHA: Vaccinations also 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 county’s vaccination registry.

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.

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.

Three Rivers health district

  • In Dodge County, the Three Rivers Fremont location is open for walk-ins from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday.
  • In Saunders County, the Three Rivers clinic in Lake Wanahoo is open to walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month.
  • In Washington County, the clinic at First Lutheran Church in Blair is open to walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.
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. weekdays, except for 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

Where to get a test: Douglas County

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 | 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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