Tuesday Jan. 11 COVID-19 update: 7 deaths, 1,500+ more cases 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.
Creighton game canceled
The Big East Conference announced Tuesday afternoon that COVID-19 issues within the Providence men’s basketball program have led to the cancellation of Tuesday night’s game scheduled at the CHI Health Center.
Douglas County health director update
Dr. Lindsay Huse gave an update to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday morning. It was the health director’s first public report of the new year — and since omicron moved solidly into the state.
CASES: The Douglas County Health Department’s seven-day case total sits at 1,388.3 per 100,000 people. A few weeks ago, she said, that number was well below 1,000. She said the county added more than 1,500 cases on Tuesday.
The case totals represent a spike far higher — about 500 cases higher — than the spike experienced during the height of the pandemic in 2020.
While increases in cases have been reported among all age groups, the largest increases have happened in the young adult population, ages 20-34, she said. There’s also been growth among the pediatric population, particularly those who aren’t able to vaccinate yet.
Most cases the county is sequencing are omicron — an estimated 88% at minimum, Dr. Huse told the board, reporting the latest local positivity rate had hit just over 30%, the highest reported since the start of the pandemic.
Dr. Huse said the county zeros in on the test-over-test number, which accounts for every single test conducted.
The health director noted that local hotspots seem to be in 68104, in the east-central part of the county; and 68107, in the southeast corner of the county.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: While it does seem to be holding up to its “less severe” reputation, the sheer volume of those who will likely be affected — and the likely impact on local hospital systems — is concerning, she said.
The hospital capacity trend lines continue to increase, and the capacity for ICUs has been over 90% for weeks now, and is projected to go up, Dr. Huse said. Ventilator use has also been at high levels recently.
VACCINE BREAKTHROUGH: This percentage continues to increase, now at 4% of people who are fully vaccinated but go on to develop COVID-19. Dr. Huse said this wasn’t surprising as the omicron variant tends to evade some immunity.
She attributed the increase in vaccine breakthrough cases to a lack of booster vaccinations.
“I want to be clear: It still works very well — the vaccine still works very well — for preventing hospitalizations and deaths. However, as people go longer without a booster, we see those breakthrough cases go up,” she said.
Breakthrough deaths have also increased, but only slightly, sitting at 0.021%.
VACCINATIONS: Douglas County recently surpassed 1,000,000 doses administered, which Dr. Huse called a huge success, “absolutely amazing.”
The vaccination rate for the county sits at 64.2%, with 24.6% of county youth ages 5-11 — the most recently eligible age group — fully vaccinated. Dr. Huse said the youth percentage wasn’t nearly enough to prevent widespread case counts among that age group.
TESTING: “The lines have been long,” Dr. Huse said, noting that the health department has been working with Nomi Health, which switched to an “appointment-only” process after so many were waiting hours and hours in line for a COVID-19 test in recent days.
And while that change has kept lines short at the city’s test sites, it’s made it harder for people to obtain a test, she said.
The health director said the county is working with Total Wellness in hopes of opening a new site and that Nomi Health is considering opening a fourth test site “far away” from its other test sites in hopes of spreading out the demand a bit.
DCHD has also been exploring options for home tests.
Watch Tuesday’s report to commissioners
Health director to declare mask mandate
At the conclusion of her presentation to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning, Dr. Lindsay Huse told the panel that she intended to put a mask mandate in effect in Omaha at midnight.
“We’re not doing everything that we can to help contain this astronomical spike in cases. We are encouraging personal responsibility. We are encouraging accountability. We are educating people every single day on how to prevent this,” Dr. Huse said, noting that anecdotally she sees maybe 10% choosing to wear a mask.
She also expressed concern about the number of residents refusing to vaccinate, especially as projections show 40% more patient capacity will be needed in the coming weeks, at minimum.
The hospitals can’t get patients in for cancer surgeries, hip replacements, and other essential surgeries that had been previously put off during the pandemic, she said.
Dr. Huse said she would order an indoor mask mandate effective for Omaha as of midnight, after finalizing some details. She said she would have a news conference later Tuesday.
“This is not a decision that I made lightly. This was not an easy decision at all, and I know it’s going to create some ways. But this is a tool that we have in our toolbox. We have research, evidence, out there showing that masks decrease transmission. I’m not claiming that masks are going to end the pandemic or stop the pandemic, but it’s going to slow it down to give my brothers and sisters in health care the breathing room they need to take care of all of you.”
Dr. Huse said the temporary measure was backed by local hospitals and Omaha City Council members.
She said she intends to set benchmarks for coming out of the mandate, such as seven-day case counts falling below 200 cases per 100,000 population, “a point we were at not too long ago,” she said, noting that that would still be in the “high-transmission” category. Currently, that number is at a record 1,388.3 cases per 100,000 population — about 500 cases higher than it was in late 2020.
The second stipulation for repealing the mandate would be local hospital capacity sitting at 85% or less for a week. Local hospital capacity fluctuates day-to-day according to staffing levels but hasn’t been below 85% since Jan. 3.
Douglas County update
DEATHS: The Douglas County Health Department on Tuesday reported seven COVID-19 deaths: Four men ages 55-95 and three women between ages 35 and 95 have died.
The youngest of the men was unvaccinated, and only the oldest of the women was vaccinated, the DCHD report states.
These most recent deaths bring the local COVID-19 death toll to 951 people.
CASES: DCHD said Tuesday that 1,596 more people tested positive since Monday’s report, bringing the community total to 115,406 cases.
The new cases pushed the seven-day average to another record for the pandemic: 1,221 cases, up from 1,141 on Monday.
HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Local hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels. As of Monday, local hospitals were 88% full, with 174 beds available; and ICUs were 93% full with 22 beds available. Pediatric ICUs were 84% full, with 21 beds available.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: Local hospitals were caring for 370 COVID-19 patients — 12 of them in pediatric care — as of Monday afternoon; 91 of those adult patients were in ICUs, and 48 were on ventilators.
Additionally, seven adult patients and one pediatric patient were awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Bryan Health update
Bryan Health, based in Lincoln, reported Tuesday that its hospitals were caring for 87 COVID-19 patients, 10 of them on ventilators.
Bryan hospitals are also caring for seven pediatric patients, two of them with COVID-19.
Additionally, 16 patients — one in the ICU — in Bryan hospitals are awaiting results of COVID-19 tests.
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
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.
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
- 5-7 p.m. at Gomez Heritage Elementary School, located at 5101 S. 17th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
- 5-7 p.m. at Standing Bear Elementary School, located at 15860 Taylor St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
- 9 a.m.-noon at Metropolitan Community College’s South Omaha Campus, located at 2801 Edward Babe Gomez Ave. A – Pfizer for ages 12+
- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+ and Moderna
- 1-4 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus, located at 5300 N. 30 St. Head for Building No. 23 near 32nd Street and Sorensen Parkway; parking in Lot A. – Pfizer for ages 12+
- 4-7 p.m. at Benson High Magnet School, located at 5120 Maple St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
- 4-7 p.m. at Omaha South Magnet School, located at 4519 S. 24th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
FRIDAY JAN. 14
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
TUESDAY JAN. 18
- Noon-4 p.m at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available.
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.
OneWorld child vaccination clinics
OneWorld is offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations, for children ages 5-11, at the following clinics:
- Livestock Building, located at 4920 S. 30th St. in south Omaha
- In Bellevue, at 2207 Georgia Ave.
- In northwest Omaha at 4229 N. 90th St.
- In Plattsmouth at 122 S. Sixth St.
OneWorld will also offer children’s COVID-19 vaccinations at school health centers:
- Bryan High School, located at 4700 Giles Road
- Indian Hill Elementary, located at 3121 U St.
- Liberty Elementary, located at 2021 St. Mary’s Ave.
- Spring Lake Elementary, located at 4215 S. 20th St.
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 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 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.
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.
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:
- Wahoo: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month at 1320 E. 31st St.
- Fremont: 3-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and noon-3:30 p.m. Fridays at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave.
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.
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
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COVID-19 risk dials: Lincoln-Lancaster County
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