Wednesday Dec. 15 COVID-19 update: Nebraska updates vaccine breakthrough data

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 9:26 PM CST
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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.

Nebraska data snapshot

According to Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services data updated Wednesday, the state was reporting the following numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations as of Tuesday:

CASES: A week-over-week jump in testing as of Tuesday showed nearly twice as many COVID-19 tests were run in the week ending Dec. 7 (79,716) compared to the week ending Dec. 1 (40,965), which had already caused a spike in the state’s positivity rate. Nebraska DHHS was reporting a 13.9% positivity rate as of Dec. 5, compared to 12.1% on Nov. 28; about a month ago, it was 10.9%. The 1.5% increase is the biggest week-over-week increase since August.

DHHS reported an additional 6,063 positive cases of COVID-19 since last week, bringing the total number of verified cases for the state to 324,720. The state health department reported 838 additional variant cases since its last update a week ago.

DEATHS: DHHS reported 33 COVID-19 deaths since the week prior, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,740. Last week, 64 COVID-19 deaths were reported across the state; about a month ago, there were 37 were reported in a week.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: The state’s health department reported 50 more COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Tuesday. At 624, it’s the highest number of COVID-19 patients reported since Dec. 17, 2020. According to the Nebraska Hospital Capacity & Respiratory Illness dashboard, those numbers have been steadily increasing since the end of October.

According to the DHHS dashboard, as of Tuesday, there were 434 adult COVID-19 patients, up from 398 reported last week and 339 reported two weeks ago. There were also 13 more adult patients in ICUs: 184 patients, up from 171 reported last week and 155 the week before that. The state also reported six pediatric COVID-19 patients, up one from the previous week. No pediatric COVID-19 ICU patient data was available Tuesday.

Overall hospital occupancy, which is based on staffing levels, improved slightly for adult patients and moreso for pediatric patients across the state this week: Last week, 79% of 3,243 adult beds were occupied, while 73% of 238 pediatric beds were full. As of Tuesday, 78% of 3,249 adult beds were occupied, while 70% of 239 pediatric beds were full.

Additionally, more adult and pediatric ICU beds were available this week. As of Tuesday, 86% (of 496) adult beds were filled, compared with 87% (of 487) adult beds occupied last week; and 70% (of 191) pediatric ICU beds were full, compared with 79% (of 189) pediatric beds filled last week.

VACCINATIONS: Currently, almost 64% of the 1.77 million Nebraskans ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated. In the past week, 39,756 COVID-19 vaccinations — the most in a week since the end of September — were administered, according to the DHHS data.

VACCINATION BREAKTHROUGHS: As of Nov. 27, DHHS reported that 2.2% of those fully vaccinated tested positive for COVID-19, up from 1.5% reported Nov. 3. That rate was much higher for those who were partially vaccinated, with 12.3% testing positive, up from 8.9% nearly four weeks earlier. Still, far fewer of those fully vaccinated ended up hospitalized with COVID-19: The rate rose from 0.03% to 0.05% — and from 0.3% to 0.4% among the partially vaccinated — during that same time period. The rate of deaths was even lower than that, though did also increase slightly; DHHS reported that 0.018%, up from 0.011% of those fully vaccinated had died from COVID-19, with 0.11% of those partially vaccinated dying from COVID-19.

INFLUENZA & RSV: Flu cases are rising as RSV cases continue to be on the decline.

DHHS reported 3.6% positivity for RSV tests as of Saturday, down from 4.6% two weeks ago but still higher than the 1.3% reported a year ago. RSV positivity for 2021 peaked at 21.6% on Aug. 21, not quite as high as the 24.1% reported in January 2020. DHHS has also reported more than six times the number RSV of tests conducted Saturday as compared to the same date last year.

The state reported 4.2% positivity for flu as of Sunday, up from 1.1% two weeks ago, and 0.5% a year ago. The highest peak in the past two years was on Feb. 13, 2020, when DHHS reported a 34.9% flu positivity rate. The state has also reported well more than double the number flu tests conducted Saturday as compared to the same date last year.

Douglas County update

The Douglas County Health Department on Wednesday reported two deaths: a man and a woman older than age 75, both of whom were vaccinated. The local death toll now stands at 886.

DCHD also confirmed 340 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 97,942 to date. A year ago, the health department reported 128 cases and four deaths, bringing the local death toll at that time to 405.

The latest case numbers nudged the seven-day average up from 281 cases to 283. A week ago, the average was 317 cases; a month ago, it was 222. It hasn’t been below 100 cases since Aug. 3.

Local hospital capacity stats are updated daily according to staffing levels. DCHD said that as of Tuesday afternoon, local hospitals were collectively 91% full with 125 beds available, as compared to 152 beds available Monday and 178 available Sunday; with ICUs at 91% occupancy and 26 beds available, compared to 30 beds available a day prior. Meanwhile, pediatric ICUs were 88% full with 15 beds available as of Tuesday afternoon, compared to 17 beds available a day prior.

Among those under hospital care as of Tuesday afternoon were 336 COVID-19 patients — 14 fewer than reported a day earlier — including six in pediatrics. Of those patients, 102 were in county ICUs, with 39 of them on ventilators, the DCHD report states.

Additionally, six adult patients and one pediatric patient are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

A week ago, local hospitals were caring for 296 COVID-19 patients; a month ago, there were 186 COVID-19 patients. There haven’t been fewer than 100 COVID-19 patients in local hospitals since Aug. 9.

As of Wednesday, 62.3% of all Douglas County residents were fully vaccinated, according to the local COVID-19 dashboard. The latest age group eligible for vaccinations was continuing to increase its vaccination rate, with 16.9% of children ages 5-11 fully vaccinated and 27.5% having received at least one dose.

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Pottawattamie County data snapshot

Iowa Department of Public Health updated its county-by-county data on Wednesday, showing an increase in hospital beds available in Pottawattamie County.

IDPH reported 16 COVID-19 deaths in Pottawattamie County in the past week, bringing the death toll stands to 230. The state’s COVID-19 death toll increased by 130 to 7,680.

As of data collected through Tuesday, Pottawattamie County had a 16% positivity rate for the week, down from 17.3% last week and 18.5% two weeks ago; with 290 positive tests confirmed in the last seven days. That’s 20,100 positive tests per 100,000 people, according to IDPH data. By comparison, the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 10.8%, down from 12.3% last week and 11.9% the week prior.

The county was showing a slight increase in its vaccination rate — 56.8% — among those ages 12 and older, according to IDPH data, compared to 63.9% vaccination rate for the same age group in all of Iowa. That amounts to 48.6% of the county’s total population, compared to the 55.2% vaccination rate for the state.

There were four fewer COVID-19 patients in county hospitals this week compared to last week. Of those 30 patients, five were fully vaccinated: one age 50-59, one age 60-69, and three ages 70-79. Of those patients, 14 COVID-19 were in county ICUs. Tuesday’s data showed that patients ages 50 and older accounted for most of the county’s COVID-19 hospitalizations: of the 24 patients, nine were in their 50s, one was vaccinated; six were in their 60s, one was vaccinated; and nine were in their 70s, three were vaccinated.

IDPH was also reporting high hospital capacity, and fewer hospital beds available compared to the previous week. As of Tuesday, there were 10.2% of hospital beds available, down from 11% last week but much higher than the 0.99% reported two weeks ago. In total, there were 20 in-patient beds available — one fewer than last weeek; and two ICU beds available, also one fewer than reported last week.

Region 4, which includes Pottawattamie and nine surrounding counties, has 34.3% of beds available: 134 hospital beds and nine ICU beds.

Bryan Health update

Bryan Health in Lincoln reported Wednesday that it was caring for 78 COVID-19 patients, 13 of them on ventilators.

Additionally, 11 patients were awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Bryan hospitals were also caring for four pediatric patients, none of whom have COVID-19.

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
  • 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

Below is a list of the Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination clinics scheduled for this week, including child vaccination clinics at area schools. All clinics are open to the public for any approved shot in the vaccination series as indicated below. Those planning to get a booster shot should bring their vaccination card.

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Moderna & Pfizer vaccines available.
  • CANCELED: 3-6 p.m. at Element Learning Center, located at 7230 Florence Blvd. The first 40 people to get a vaccine will receive a gift card to use at The Laundry Room. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 4-7 p.m. at St. Pius X/St. Leo Catholic School, 6905 Blondo St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Girls Inc., located at 2811 N. 45th St. – All vaccines available.
  • 5-7 p.m. at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, located at 1616 S. 120th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 5-7 p.m. at McMillan Magnet Middle School, located at Redick Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • Noon-4 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Heart Ministry Center, located at 2222 Binney St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bryan Middle School, located at 8210 S. 42nd St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Benson High Magnet School, located at 5120 Maple St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Burke High School, located at 12200 Burke St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Omaha North High Magnet School, located at 4410 N. 36th St. – All vaccines available.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Omaha South High Magnet School, located at 4519 S. 24th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 4-7 p.m. at Bennington High School, located at 16610 Bennington Road – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Morton Magnet Middle School, located at 12200 Burke St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • Noon-4 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Alfonza W. David Middle School, located at 8050 N. 129th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Norris Middle School, located at 2235 S. 46th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.

Today's #Covid19 Update is right here: Douglas County Nebraska Nebraska Department...

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Monday, December 13, 2021

In-home appointments

DCHD is helping those homebound to get vaccinated, scheduling in-home appointments for all three adult vaccination varieties, for any shot in the series.

To arrange this, call the DCHD information helpline at 402-444-3400.

DCHD 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.

OneWorld child vaccination clinics

OneWorld is offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations, for children ages 5-11, at the following clinics:

OneWorld will also offer children’s COVID-19 vaccinations at school health centers:

Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis; or you can call 402-734-4110 to make an appointment.

Children’s Hospital

Children’s Hospital is planning to offer dedicated COVID-19 vaccination clinics for about a month, starting by Thursday, Nov. 11 — or sooner, if they are supplied the doses before that.

  • 5-7 p.m. Thursdays at West Village Pointe and Spring Valley offices
  • 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays at West Village Pointe and Spring Valley offices

After Saturday, Dec. 11, pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations will be available by appointment at any Children’s Hospital location.

  • 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.

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.

Around Omaha

SOUTH OMAHA: Testing and vaccinations are 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 obtain COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters at the Omaha VA Medical Center’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics’ walk-in hours from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m. weekdays. Appointments can also be scheduled online.

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.

Sarpy/Cass vaccination clinics

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department has scheduled vaccination clinics for all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including pediatric doses:

There are appointments available at the Health Department's COVID-19 vaccination clinics on December 14 and 15. ...

Posted by Sarpy/Cass Health Department on Monday, December 13, 2021

Appointments are recommended but not required. For scheduling assistance, call 833-998-2275 or 531-249-1873.

Three Rivers health district

Three Rivers Public Health Department is giving out boosters to those in certain risk categories who have had Pfizer vaccinations. It is also working with area businesses and schools to provide plan more COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

3RPHD is planning the following vaccination clinics next week at the Three Rivers Clinic, located at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave. in Fremont:

  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday
  • 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17
  • 8 a.m-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21
  • 8 a.m-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22
  • 8 a.m-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28

Three regular pediatric vaccination clinics have been set up for children ages 5-11:

The health department has the necessary forms posted on their website, for minors and adults, for those who would like to fill them out ahead of their visit.

3RPHD’s regular clinics will continue:

  • In Dodge County, the Three Rivers clinic at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave. in Fremont, 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, located 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.

Those who are home-bound or require special accommodations but need a COVID-19 test or vaccine can contact the health district at 402-704-2245 to make arrangements.

In the upcoming weeks, due to the holidays and increased demand for vaccines, we will have modified days and hours for...

Posted by Three Rivers Public Health Department, Nebraska on Monday, December 13, 2021

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 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 | Bryan Health | Nebraska | Iowa | Worldwide

School info: Omaha Public Schools | Millard Public Schools | Bellevue Public Schools | Westside Community Schools | Papillion-La Vista 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 quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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