Wednesday Oct. 27 COVID-19 update: Two unvaccinated women die in Douglas County
(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.
Westside school district updates mask policy
Westside Community Schools on Wednesday announced it was rolling back its mask requirement for students in seventh through 12th grades, starting Monday, citing low COVID-19 case numbers and wide availability of vaccination opportunities.
“We have had very few cases in both WMS and WHS over the past few weeks, and all students and staff in these facilities have had ample time to get vaccinated if they chose to do so,” the WCS release states.
Students in Pre-K through sixth grades will still be required to wear masks, the district said.
“We are waiting until vaccination options have been made available so the families of 5-12 year olds have time to decide whether or not they want to pursue the vaccine,” the WCS release states.
The school district reported that it had eight cases in its middle schools and 21 cases in its high schools between Sept. 20 and Oct. 24.
Nebraska data snapshot
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday updated its data on hospital capacity as well as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations.
CASES: DHHS reported an additional 3,311 cases — 400 of them delta variants — of COVID-19 since last week, bringing the total number of verified cases for the state to 282,287, including 5,771 variant cases.
As of Oct. 17, the state’s positivity rose to 9.4% from 8.6% reported last week, with 44,376 COVID-19 tests administered in the past week — nearly 20,000 less than last week.
DEATHS: DHHS reported 8 COVID-19 deaths since the week prior, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,469.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: The state’s health department reported 10 more COVID-19 hospitalizations this week; at 379, it’s 49 fewer than a month ago. As of Wednesday, there were 240 adult COVID-19 patients, 132 of them in ICUs; and seven pediatric patients, up from three reported last week.
Overall hospital occupancy, which is based on staffing levels, improved this week. Last week, DHHS reported 76% of 3,109 adult beds were full, while 80% of 182 pediatric beds were occupied. As of Wednesday, 77% of 3,174 adult beds are occupied, while 78% of 189 pediatric beds are filled.
More ICU beds were available this week, with 89% (or 482) adult beds occupied, compared with 86% (of 484) reported last week; and 78% (of 160) pediatric ICU beds available, compared with 77% (of 155) pediatric beds filled last week.
VACCINATIONS: Currently, 68.5% of Nebraskans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated — a 0.3% increase from last week.
No new data about vaccination breakthroughs was available.
Douglas County update
The Douglas County Health Department on Wednesday reported two COVID-19 deaths Wednesday: an unvaccinated woman in her 50s with no underlying health conditions, and an unvaccinated woman in her 80s.
The local death toll now stands at 827.
DCHD also confirmed 183 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday, bringing the local total of confirmed cases to 86,959 and pulling the rolling seven-day average up from 141 to 147 cases.
Local hospital capacity stats are updated daily according to staffing levels. As of Tuesday afternoon, hospitals were 91% full with 122 beds available, down from 191 on Monday; while ICUs were 93% full with 19 beds available, down from 29 on Monday.
There are still 191 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, including two pediatric patients. As of Tuesday afternoon, five more patients were admitted to ICUs, for a total of 73 COVID-19 patients in county ICUs; 34 of those patients are on ventilators.
Additionally, four adult patients are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Pottawattamie County update
The Iowa Public Health Department updated its COVID-19 dashboard, showing Pottawattamie County with a 15% seven-day positivity rate, across 192 tests, compared with the state’s seven-day average of 8.1%.
As of Tuesday, the county had 10.1% of hospital beds available. That amounts to 21 hospital beds and five ICU beds.
There are 28 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county; 11 are fully vaccinated, but eight of those patients are ages 70 and older. Of the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 12 of them are in ICUs, according to the IDPH data. Three patients are in their 30s, four are in their 50s, six are in their 60s, 10 are in their 70s, and five are ages 80 or older, the data shows.
The county has a 54.9% vaccination rate among those ages 12 and older, which means 46.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated, according to IDPH data. That compares to the state’s 61.9% vaccination rate for ages 12 and older, which translates to 52.5% of all Iowans.
The county’s COVID-19 death toll is 202, the dashboard shows. The state has reported 6,965 COVID-19 deaths to date.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported two COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday: an unvaccinated man in his 70s and an unvaccinated woman in her 90s have died.
The local death toll is now 309.
LLCHD also reported that an additional 106 positive COVID-19 cases had been confirmed, bringing the total cases there to 40,982 since the start of the pandemic.
There are currently 88 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the area, including 12 on ventilators.
The health district also reports that 75% of residents ages 16 and older are fully vaccinated.
Bryan Health update
Bryan Health in Lincoln reported Wednesday that it was caring for 55 COVID-19 patients, up from 51 on Tuesday, with eight patients on ventilators.
Seven more patients are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
The health system also reported it was caring for eight pediatric patients, down from 10 on Tuesday; with one awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Kansas court wonders: Is it too late to rule on COVID law?
(AP) - Kansas’ top court is wrestling with deciding whether the state constitution allows people to keep getting quick judicial decisions in lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.
The state Supreme Court heard arguments from attorneys Tuesday on a law requiring district courts to rule within 10 days when someone sues over a county restriction.
Three of the seven justices expressed skepticism that the law is constitutional. But the court is considering an appeal in a lawsuit against a school district’s mask mandate, and school districts are covered by a different law that expired in June.
The issue is whether that case was dead before it came to the justices.
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
Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled at several local schools and events this week:
- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – This clinic will only have Pfizer vaccinations available.
- 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at UNO’s Criss Library, located at 6401 University Drive, with parking available in Lot E – This clinic will only have Pfizer vaccinations available.
- DCHD is having a drive-through clinic from 1-6 p.m. at CHI Health Center Arena, in Lot D off Abbott Drive
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the health department office, located at 1111 S. 41st St.
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the health department office, located at 1111 S. 41st St.
- DCHD is having a drive-through clinic from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at CHI Health Center Arena, in Lot D off Abbott Drive
- 2-4 p.m. at Trunk or Treat Village, located at 24th & Lake streets – This clinic will only have Pfizer vaccinations available.
Douglas County booster plan
All Douglas County Health Department pop-up clinics will offer only Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccinations, but once Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters are authorized, the health department plans to have all three available at its in-house and drive-through clinics.
Booster shots are recommended for people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and are:
- ages 65 and older
- anyone age 18 and older who lives in a long-term care setting
- anyone age 18 and older who has underlying medical conditions
- anyone age 18 and older who lives or works in a high-risk setting
The CDC is recommending booster doses be administered six months after receiving your second dose, and has authorized brand crossover for booster shots. Anyone with questions is advised to contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.
Boosters are also recommended for those who received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago, according to the health department.
Those with questions about boosters, particularly those with questions about underlying medical conditions or being in a high-risk setting, are advised to contact their healthcare providers or call the DCHD Information Line at 402-444-3400.
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 “high-risk” 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 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:
- Eagle Run Health Center, located at 132nd Street and West Maple Road
- Fontenelle Health Center, located at 50th Street and Ames Avenue
- Girls Inc. Health Center, located at 45th Street and West Maple Road
- Old Market Health Center, located at 13th and Leavenworth streets
- Village Pointe Health Center, located at 175th and Burke streets
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.
- 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.
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 first and second doses of Pfizer and Modern vaccines, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single doses, and booster doses of all three vaccines.
The Sarpy/Cass Health Department has three clinics planned for the coming weeks, with first and second vaccinations and booster doses — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Appointments are encouraged, but not required.
- Saturday, Oct. 30: The clinic will run from 9-11 a.m. at the Cass County Fairgrounds Exposition Building, 8420 144th St. in Weeping Water.
- Monday, Nov. 1: The clinic will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Plattsmouth Senior Center, 308 S. 18th St.
- Friday, Nov. 5: The clinic will run from 10 a.m.-noon at Bellevue Senior Center, 109 W. 22nd Ave.
Three Rivers health district
- In Dodge County, the Three Rivers Fremont location, at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave., is open for walk-ins from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; and noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday.
- In Saunders County, the Three Rivers clinic in Lake Wanahoo, at 1320 E. 31st St., is open to walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month.
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.
Where to get a test: Douglas County
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 | UNO | Midland University
COVID-19 risk dials: Lincoln-Lancaster County
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