Friday Aug. 20 COVID-19 update: 2 more Millard classrooms closed; hospitals pausing elective surgeries

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 1:57 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.

Hospital systems postponing elective procedures

Major hospital systems in the region put the public on notice Friday that elective surgeries and procedures would be postponed to preserve hospital capacity as COVID-19 delta variant cases and hospitalizations surge.

Nebraska Medical Center said in an email that surgeries requiring hospital admission would be reduced starting Monday but that no changes would be made to surgery scheduling at Bellevue Medical Center or any of the outpatient centers. NebMed expects this to be the case through September and October, but noted that it could change if the situation improves.

“Patients with COVID-19 require additional resources at a time when the state is facing a nursing shortage. Additionally, our volume of non-COVID patients is also high,” the email states.

Methodist Health System said in an email that they would push off — for 30 days — surgeries and procedures at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital requiring an overnight stay that can be delayed.

“We are already experiencing a surge of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and have implemented overflow processes,” the email states.

Should COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations plateau or subside, the procedures may be scheduled sooner.

Bryan Health in Lincoln notified the public of similar measures being taken in Lincoln, saying that the community can help “relieve this pressure” by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

2 more MPS classrooms closed

Millard Public Schools sent emails to families of two more elementary classrooms — one of them at the school already experiencing a classroom shutdown — that are closing because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Montclair Elementary School families were alerted to a second classroom shutdown Friday, days after the school was notified of an initial class outbreak.

An email sent to student families from the principal, Dr. Alicia Kotlarz, said the class had three confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that the class would be shut down “for the next week to stop possible spread.” The school was working with families to continue classwork during that time.

Schools officials at Montclair Elementary School sent student families an update by email of new procedures going into effect starting Monday. In the email, officials are requiring masks for the next 28 days and students will eat in both the cafeteria and classrooms for more social distancing.

They also mention that students will also eat outside depending on the weather.

In a similar email sent to Upchurch Elementary School student families, they were notified that three positive cases had been confirmed in a classroom there as well, with similar processes outlined: shut down for a week, with plans to continue school work. The email also noted that mitigation efforts like cleaning and extra spacing during lunch periods would continue at the school.

Millard students started their school year on Aug. 11. The district was reporting 65 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday.

Omaha Public Schools reported Friday that there are nearly 90 active cases of COVID-19 in the district: 14 are staff and 75 are students.

Auburn elementary school closed

Auburn Public Schools superintendent David Patton confirmed to 6 News on Friday that they had closed Calvert Elementary School because of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Patton said there were a few cases reported Monday, with more cases reported each day, so the district made the decision to school down — just like they would if there was a flu outbreak.

The school will be thoroughly cleaned and fogged prior to its planned reopening on Monday.

Everyone in that school will have to wear masks until the spread is under control.

A special meeting has also been scheduled for Monday to review the events and processes of this week.

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30

Douglas County cases update

The Douglas County Health Department said Friday it had confirmed an additional 152 positive cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, bringing the local total to 76,217 cases.

The local COVID-19 death toll stands at 743.

The rolling seven-day average dropped slightly to 149 cases on Friday. Three weeks ago, that average was 71 cases.

As of Friday’s report, local hospitals were 83% full, with 245 beds available. Adult ICU beds were 80% full with 67 beds available. Hospitals are caring for 144 COVID-19 patients; one of them is a pediatric patient. Among current COVID-19 hospitalizations, 53 patients are in ICUs, 16 of them on ventilators. Two additional patients are being monitored for COVID-19 symptoms.

DCHD announced last week, after the U.S. Census data was released, that its data would use the 2019 Vintage Census Population Estimate when calculating percentages, resulting in some declines in local age group vaccination percentages on the health department’s COVID-19 dashboard. It will be consistent with the CDC’s data tracker, however.

Lincoln-Lancaster County reports unvaccinated death

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department on Friday reported an additional COVID-19 death: a woman in her 80s who was not vaccinated died, bringing the local COVID-19 death toll to 257.

Also on Friday, LLCHD confirmed an additional 111 positive cases, bring the community total to 34,104 cases reported since the start of the pandemic.

The health district reported that 82 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, eight of them on ventilators.

LLCHD reported that as of Friday, 69.6% of residents ages 16 or older were considered fully vaccinated.

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, 7100 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 and events this week:

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Hayden House on UNO’s Dodge Campus, located at 6533 University Drive South
  • 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Farmers Market in the Old Market
  • Noon-3 p.m. at Benson Health at Lake Street Apartments, located at 2400 N. 34th Ave.
  • 1-3 p.m. at Hayden House on UNO’s Dodge Campus, located at 6533 University Dr. South
  • 1-5 p.m. at Simple Foundation – Miguel Keith Park and Memorial, located at 30th and W streets
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m. at UNO’s Tal Anderson Field, located at 2425 S. 67th St.

Class is back in session! Give your child everything they need to succeed, including protection from COVID-19. #Omaha #NECOVID19 #InThisTogether

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Friday, August 20, 2021

Nebraska Medicine

Nebraska Medicine is offering COVID-19 vaccinations at clinics in several retail pharmacies and health centers around the Omaha-metro.

NebMed will provide Pfizer vaccinations by appointment at:

For those looking for walk-in appointments, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will be available at these pharmacies:

  • Outpatient Pharmacy at Bellevue Health Center, located at 25th Street and Highway 370, will offer J&J vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Outpatient Pharmacy at Durham Outpatient Center, located at 45th and Emile streets, will offer J&J vaccinations from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays; and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekends.

Children’s Hospital

  • Tuesday and Thursday appointments available at the Mission Village location, 16909 Q St. Call 402-955-7575 or 402-955-SHOT (7468) for available times.
  • Thursday and Friday appointments available at the Dundee location, 4825 Dodge St. Call 402-955-7676 or 402-955-SHOT (7468) for available times.

Around Omaha

SOUTH OMAHA: Testing and vaccinations available at OneWorld, located at 4920 S. 30th St. Call 402-734-4110 to make an appointment for vaccinating anyone age 12 and older.

CHARLES DREW HEALTH CENTER: Call 402-451-3553 to schedule an appointment.

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

CHI HEALTH VACCINE INFORMATION: The info line is available at 402-717-1255 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily in August.

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.

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.

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.

Resource links

Where to get a test: Douglas County

Vaccine sign-up: Douglas County | Sarpy/Cass | Three Rivers | Nebraska

Vaccinations at hospitals: Nebraska Medicine | Methodist Hospital | Children’s Hospital

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

Vaccine dashboard: Nebraska | Iowa

Vaccine information: Douglas County | Douglas County clinics | Nebraska || Iowa | Pottawattamie County | Mills County | Fremont County

COVID-19 dashboards: Douglas County | Sarpy County | Three Rivers Health District | Lancaster County | Iowa | Worldwide

School info: 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: Lincoln-Lancaster County quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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