Thursday Oct. 7 COVID-19 update: Douglas County hospitals at highest capacity since start of pandemic

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 12:34 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:51 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 western Iowa.

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

Douglas County update

The Douglas County Health Department on Thursday reported three more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the local death toll to 801: all three were men ages 75-95, but “only one was fully vaccinated.”

DCHD also reported 131 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the local total to 84,331 cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic nearly 19 months ago. Thursday’s report brings the seven-day average to 144 cases,

Hospital capacity and bed availability fluctuate from day to day, adjusting mainly for staffing levels.

On Thursday, the health department reported that as of Wednesday afternoon, 92% of hospital beds were filled, with 114 beds available. That’s the highest occupancy rate reported since the start of the pandemic, according to the DCHD COVID-19 dashboard. Since Sept. 15, hospital capacity has regularly been at 88% — the previous peak in occupancy, reported in early October 2020 — or higher.

Also as of Wednesday afternoon, local ICUs were 88% full with 36 beds available, the DCHD report states.

DCHD said area hospitals were caring for 206 COVID-19 patients, including six pediatric patients. Of those hospitalizations, 61 of them were in ICUs, with 34 on ventilators. According to the DCHD dashboard, there were 129 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 15 patients on ventilators, a year ago.

The health department also reported that three more adult patients were awaiting test results.

DCHD blasts vaccine myths

DCHD again reminded residents to be cautious when evaluating VAERS information as fact.

“Some VAERS reports may be incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable,” the health department said in a release Thursday.

Anyone can submit a report through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System about potential COVID-19 vaccine issues, “even if it is not clear that the vaccine caused the problem,” DCHD said.

The health department also clarified that COVID-19 vaccinations do not cause COVID-19 variants.

“Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several strains of the virus,” the DCHD release states, noting that variants actually happen because the virus mutates.

Pottawattamie County update

According to the Iowa Public Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard, Pottawattamie County had 12% of hospital beds available as of Tuesday. That amounts to 22 hospital beds and three ICU beds.

There are 19 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county: six are considered fully vaccinated, and 13 of them are in ICUs, according to the IDPH data. Two patients are in their 20s, three are in their 30s, two are in their 50s, eight are in their 60s, three are in their 70s, and one is age 80 or older, the data shows.

In the seven days ending Tuesday, IDPH reported that 177 (or 10%) of COVID-19 tests in the county were confirmed to be positive. The county has a 53.9% vaccination rate among those ages 12 and older, which means 45.6% of the total population is fully vaccinated, according to IDPH data.

There have been 192 COVID-19 deaths in Pottawattamie County, the dashboard shows.

Three Rivers update

Three Rivers Public Health Department said Wednesday that because of community spread, it would no longer be conducting contact tracing on those who test positive for COVID-19. Instead, residents testing positive will receive a link to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services contact tracing survey.

Also on Wednesday, the health department reported 163 new cases had been confirmed in the previous week, bringing their total to 11,254 cases reported since the start of the pandemic.

The 3RPHD COVID-19 data dashboard on Thursday showed that there were 202 COVID-19 patients, 35 of them on ventilators, in the health district. The data also indicated that 156 (11%) of hospital beds were available in the health district; 38 (13%) of ICU beds were available; and 322 (71%) of ventilators were available.

To date, the health district has reported 144 COVID-19 deaths.

Bryan Health update

Bryan Health reported Thursday that hospitals in the system were caring for 63 COVID-19 patients, 16 of them on ventilators.

The health system is also caring for 10 pediatric patients; while none are currently positive for COVID-19, one is awaiting a test result, Bryan Health said in its Thursday news release.

Bryan Health treats some patients beyond the boundaries of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, so its numbers may vary from the health department dashboard.

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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:

  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, 1111 S. 41st St.
  • 4-8 p.m. at Cody Elementary School, 3320 S. 127th St.
  • 4-8:15 p.m. at Russell Middle School, 5304 S. 172nd St.
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, 1111 S. 41st St.
  • 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Old Market Farmers Market, 1011 Jackson St.
Pfizer boosters

The Douglas County Health Department is distributing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination boosters at its clinics to those in certain groups:

  • Adults ages 65 and older
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Adults ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions that make put them at high risk of severe COVID-19
  • Adults ages 18-49 with certain conditions listed above, or who are otherwise at risk of severe COVID-19
  • Adults ages 18-64 whose jobs put them at high risk for COVID-19

The CDC is recommending booster doses be administered six months after receiving your second dose. Anyone with questions is advised to contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.

Underlying medical conditions that qualify for boosters include: cancer; chronic kidney disease; chronic lung diseases like COPD, moderate to severe asthma, interstitial lung disease, damaged or scarred lung tissue, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, etc.; certain neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.; diabetes; Down syndrome; certain heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, hypertension; HIV/AIDS or others in immunocompromised states; liver disease like cirrhosis, liver scarring, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, etc.; those who are overweight or obese; pregnant and recently pregnant people who are 42 or more days past the end of their pregnancy; certain hemoglobin disorders like sickle cell disease, thalassemia, etc.; current or former smokers; recipients of organ, blood stem cell, or bone marrow transplants; cerebrovascular disease like stroke, etc.; and substance use disorders including alcohol, opioid, cocaine use disorders, etc.

Those occupations qualifying for boosters include: first-responders such as healthcare workers, firefighters, police, and congregate care staff; education staff such as teachers, support staff, daycare workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; corrections workers; U.S. Postal workers; public transit workers; grocery store workers; and residents of homeless shelters or correctional facilities.

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.

Sarpy/Cass health district

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department offers COVID-19 vaccinations at its offices, located at 701 Olson Drive in Papillion:

  • Tuesdays: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 1-6 p.m.

The health department offers the following vaccines at its clinics:

  • First and second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single doses
  • Additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna for immunocompromised people
  • Pfizer booster

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 Mondays 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: Nebraskans can call 531-249-1873 or toll-free at 833-998-2275 for more information on the state’s 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: 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 | Nebraska | Iowa | Worldwide

School info: Omaha Public Schools | Millard Public Schools | Bellevue Public Schools | Westside Community Schools | Gretna Public Schools | Elkhorn Public Schools | Council Bluffs Community Schools | Lincoln Public Schools | UNL | Midland University

COVID-19 risk dials: Lincoln-Lancaster County quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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