Thursday Jan. 6 COVID-19 update: 4 deaths, more than 1,500 new cases in Douglas County

Teachers' unions representing thousands of educators around the Omaha-metro sent a letter to their City Councils calling on them to mandate masks.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 10:19 AM 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.

Teachers’ unions urge mask mandates

Union leaders representing thousands of teachers at six local school districts called on their respective city leaders to issue mask requirements as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

“We cannot just leave it up to our schools to implement mitigation policies,” the letter states.

The letter addressed to the City Councils of Omaha, Bellevue, La Vista, Papillion, and Ralston — and supported by local medical experts — was sent from Andrew Bowen, president of Bellevue Education Association; Tim Royers, president of the Millard Education Association; Robert Miller, president of the Omaha Education Association; Jared Wagenknecht, president of the Papillion-La Vista Education Association; Jane Leadabrand, president of the Ralston Education Association; and Teresa Matthews, president of the Westside Education Association.

Omaha Public Schools, Ralston, and Westside are the only Omaha-metro districts currently requiring masks for all students.

Millard response plan update

Several parents asked 6 News to look into the Millard Public Schools’ revised “Return to School Plan,” noting that the list of protocols was shorter, but that it was difficult to determine what information was new or different.

The school district told 6 News that the document was simply slimmed down without significant changes. An MPS spokeswoman said masks are still recommended — and encouraged — but ultimately optional.

The district also continues to run air conditioners around the clock for ventilation, she said.

Douglas County update

DEATHS: The Douglas County Health Department reported four COVID-19 deaths on Thursday: a man in his 50s, a man in his 60s, a woman in her 60s, and a woman in her 70s. None of them were vaccinated, DCHD said.

The latest report brings the local COVID-19 death toll to 936.

CASES: Also on Thursday, DCHD reported 1,547 positive COVID-19 cases had been confirmed since Thursday’s report, bringing the total number of local residents infected with the virus to date to 109,450.

The latest case report boosts the local seven-day average once more to a record high for the pandemic, jumping from 801 cases to 909 cases in a day.

A week ago, the local seven-day average was 410 cases. Two weeks ago, it was 266 cases. About two months ago, it was 166 cases. Six months ago, it was 74 cases. A year ago, it was 347 cases.

The Douglas County COVID-19 data dashboard on Thursday was reporting a seven-day average of 1,000 cases per 100,000 population, up from 976.8 per 100,000 on Wednesday. On Dec. 30, that average was 528.2 cases per 100,000 population. In Polk County, Iowa (Des Moines), that average is 358.86, according to the CDC COVID-19 data tracker. In Jackson County, Kan. (Kansas City), the average is 751.65 cases per 100,000. In Cook County, Ill. (Chicago), the average is 1,411.24 cases per 100,000.

HOSPITALIZATIONS & CAPACITY: Local hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels. Thursday’s hospital report is not yet available.

The highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in 2021 was 350 patients reported on Dec. 13.

Kansas governor moves to help facilities hit by COVID surge

(AP) - Gov. Laura Kelly is easing or suspending Kansas licensing rules for medical personnel and nursing home workers in hopes of making it easier for them to attack staffing shortages during a surge of new COVID-19 cases.

Kelly issued two executive orders Thursday. One allows hospital staff to perform a broader range of duties. The other makes licensing of nursing home workers more flexible so homes can hire people whose licenses have lapsed and fill less-skilled jobs with workers who have relatively little or no previous training.

The governor also declared an emergency for the next 15 days. Her actions come as ambulances struggle to find Kansas City-area hospitals with space.

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone ages 5 years and older. More: https://bit.ly/3GLtqKX.

Posted by CDC on Wednesday, January 5, 2022

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.

THURSDAY
  • 4-7 p.m. at Bryan High School, located at 4700 Giles Road – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 4-7 p.m. at Omaha North High Magnet School, located at 4410 N. 36th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
FRIDAY
  • 9 a.m.-Noon at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
SATURDAY
  • 9 a.m.-Noon at Omaha Kanyaw Baptist Church, located at 4730 N. 60th Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • Noon-3 p.m. at the Girls, Inc., located at 2811 N. 45th St. – All vaccines available.

Today's #Covid19 Update is right here: https://www.douglascountyhealth.com/latest-news Douglas County Nebraska Nebraska...

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Monday, January 3, 2022

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 dose.

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

Pottawattamie County

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.

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.

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

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