Wednesday Jan. 19 COVID-19 update: Bellevue schools plan extra days off, citing staffing concerns

Nebraska hospitalizations at high since December 2020
Douglas County reported three unvaccinated COVID-19 deaths, and local COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing levels not seen since November 2020.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:45 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.

Bellevue schools planning extra days off

Bellevue Public Schools announced Wednesday that they were canceling classes for three dates in coming weeks.

“As we’ve seen the rapid increase in positive COVID cases, it has come to a point of concern regarding sufficient staff in our buildings to keep schools safely open for student in-person learning,” the note from the district to families and staff states.

Students will get a long weekend next weekend, off Friday Jan. 28 and Monday Jan. 31. Classes will also not be in session on Friday Feb. 11.

Bellevue Public Schools announced three dates in upcoming weeks that they will not have classes.

The district said BPS Foundation Kids Time consolidated sites will remain open on those days, however, and student activities and athletics will continue as scheduled for middle and high schools unless otherwise notified.

“We understand this can cause challenges for families, and do not make this decision lightly. With the high number of positive Covid cases reported over the past few weeks, we need to put these extra measures into place so we can sufficiently staff our schools and continue safely serving students,” the note states.

The school district announced over the weekend it was implementing a mask mandate and would start posting updates on school cases daily starting Tuesday.

While these challenging times continue in our community and across the country, it remains important for Bellevue Public...

Posted by Bellevue Public Schools on Sunday, January 16, 2022

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:

DEATHS: DHHS reported 52 COVID-19 deaths in the past week and 129 in the week prior, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,946.

CASES: A surge in testing across the state in recent weeks pushed Nebraska’s positivity rate to 27%, up from 18.5% two weeks ago.

Across the state, 121,728 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the week ending Tuesday; another 128,476 were conducted in the week prior — the most in single-week periods since June 2021, when the state again began posting its COVID-19. Those tests resulted in 25,794 positive cases in the past week and 27,172 cases the week before, jumping the state’s positivity level from 18.3% on Jan. 5 to 27% as of Tuesday. The state lab confirmed has confirmed 402,489 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Among cases confirmed since Jan. 5, 817 of sampled cases were confirmed as delta variants, 910 of those samples were confirmed as omicron variant cases.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: The state’s health department reported 181 more COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Tuesday compared to two weeks ago, bringing this week’s total to 714 COVID-19 patients — the highest number of patients reported since Dec. 11, 2020.

According to the Nebraska Hospital Capacity & Respiratory Illness dashboard, those numbers have been steadily increasing since Dec. 26. As of Tuesday, the hospital capacity dashboard was reporting 522 adult COVID-19 patients, up from 374 reported two weeks ago. There were 170 adult COVID-19 patients in ICUs, up from 147 patients reported two weeks ago. The state dashboard also reported 22 pediatric COVID-19 patients — 10 more than two weeks ago.

Overall statewide hospital occupancy, which is based on staffing levels, were about the same for adult patients as they were two weeks ago, but capacity for pediatric patients improved in the same time period. As of Tuesday, 76% of 3,240 adult beds were occupied, while 60% of 242 pediatric beds were full.

ICU capacity was also improved in the two-week period: As of Tuesday, 72% (of 491) adult beds were filled, compared with 84% (of 477) adult beds occupied two weeks ago; and 70% (of 191) pediatric ICU beds were full, compared with 73% (of 191) pediatric beds filled two weeks ago.

VACCINATIONS: Currently, 65.7% of the 1.77 million Nebraskans ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated. In the last two weeks, 11,908 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered, according to DHHS data.

VACCINATION BREAKTHROUGHS: DHHS updates its breakthrough data roughly every 4-5 weeks, but no new data was reported this week.

INFLUENZA & RSV: Across the state, both flu cases and RSV cases are on the decline.

DHHS reported 1.2% positivity for a week’s worth of RSV tests as of Saturday, down from 2.3% a week ago — but still higher than the 0.3% positivity reported about this same time in 2021. RSV positivity for 2021 peaked at 21.6% on Aug. 21, not quite as high as the previous peak of 24.1% reported in January 2020. DHHS has also reported 4,081 RSV tests were conducted the week ending Saturday and 4,984 the week prior, as compared to 1,017 at this time in 2021.

The state reported 3.4% positivity for flu as of Saturday, down from 7.4% at the end of December; that’s still way up from 0.4% reported at this time last year. About two years ago, Nebraska’s flu positivity was at 25.7% before spiking to nearly 34.9% on Feb. 13, 2020.

Flu testing in Nebraska declined in the past week. The state ran 9,403 tests in the past week after running 11,580 in the week prior. At this time last year, they ran 3,400 flu tests.

Pottawattamie County data snapshot

DEATHS: The Iowa Department of Public Health reported five COVID-19 deaths in Pottawattamie County in the past week, bringing the death toll to 263 people. Of those deaths, 34 people had no pre-existing condition, according to the IDPH COVID-19 dashboard. The state’s COVID-19 death toll increased by 116 people to 8,317 people. Of those people, 607 had no pre-existing condition, according to IDPH data.

CASES: Test numbers in Pottawattamie County nearly doubled again in the past week, sparking another jump in positivity. As of data collected through Tuesday, the county had a 35% positivity rate for the week after 1,131 positive tests were confirmed in the last seven days. That’s up from 31% last week and 22% two weeks ago. The ratio equates to 24,815 positive tests per 100,000 people, according to IDPH data. By comparison, the state’s seven-day positivity rate increased from 23.8% to 26.2%; two weeks ago, it was 18%.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: There were 56 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals this week, up 15 patients from last week. Of those people, 22 were fully vaccinated: one in their 30s, one in their 40s; four in their 50s, five in their 60s, six in their 70s, and four ages 80 or older.

One patient was also a vaccinated child between the ages of 1 and 11.

Tuesday’s data also showed that patients ages 50 and older accounted for most of the county’s COVID-19 hospitalizations: of those 47 patients, 12 were in their 50s, eight of them unvaccinated; 17 were in their 60s, 12 of them unvaccinated; eight were in their 70s, two of them vaccinated; and 10 were ages 80 and older, six of whom were unvaccinated.

Of those COVID-19 patients, 17 were in county ICUs.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: IDPH continued to report high hospital capacity for the county — even less than last week. As of Tuesday, hospitals in the county were 93% full, up from 90.3% the week prior. In total, there were 11 in-patient beds available — seven fewer than last week; and 11 ICU beds available, up from six reported available last week.

Hospitals in Region 4, which includes Pottawattamie and nine surrounding counties, are 64.5% full, 60.8% reported a week ago; that amounts to 124 hospital beds and 11 ICU beds, down from 142 hospital beds and 17 ICU beds available a week earlier.

VACCINATIONS: The county was reporting a 53.5% vaccination rate among those ages 5 and older, according to IDPH data, compared to a 60.4% vaccination rate for the same age group in all of Iowa. That amounts to 50.2% of the county’s total population, compared to the 56.7% vaccination rate for the state.

Iowa COVID hospitalizations top 1,000 amid high virus spread

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hospitalizations of people being treated for coronavirus infections in Iowa surpassed 1,000 this week as COVID-19 cases grow at the fastest rate since the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago.

State data updated Wednesday shows Iowa surpassed 1,000 hospitalizations on Monday and then dipped lower to 991 with 182 patients in intensive care. The state reported 19 children age 11 or younger in hospitals and 13 aged 12 to 17. Most were unvaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Iowa’s seven-day moving average of daily cases was 5,440 on Monday. That is the highest rate ever, surpassing the previous high of 4,622 in November 2020.

The state Wednesday reported 8,317 deaths, which is 116 more than reported on Monday.

Court documents were filed this week ahead of Monday's hearing on the Omaha mask mandate.

Douglas County update

DEATHS: The Douglas County Health Department reported three COVID-19 deaths Wednesday: two men ages 45-55 and a woman in her 60s have died.

“None of them had been vaccinated,” the health department release states.

The local COVID-19 death toll is now at 967.

CASES: DCHD also reported 1,636 cases Wednesday, bringing the community total to 126,833 cases since March 2020. The health department reported the county’s 100,000th case on Dec. 23.

The latest report pushes the seven-day rolling average to 1,365 cases, up from an average of 1,312 cases reported Tuesday.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Local hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels. As of Tuesday afternoon, local hospitals were 86% full, with 207 beds available. ICUs were also 89% full with 33 beds available. Pediatric ICUs were 77% full, with 31 beds available.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: Local hospitals are caring for the most COVID-19 patients since Nov. 30, 2020, according to the county dashboard. As of Tuesday afternoon, local hospitals were caring for a total of 410 COVID-19 patients — 14 of them in pediatric care. In local ICUs, there were 110 adult patients — 15 more than the day prior; 52 were on ventilators.

Additionally, nine adult patients and 11 pediatric patients were awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Lincoln-Lancaster update

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported four COVID-19 deaths Wednesday: an unvaccinated man in his 40s, an unvaccinated woman in her 50s, a vaccinated man in his 60s, and a vaccinated man in his 70s have died, bringing the local death toll to 378 people.

LLCHD also confirmed 983 cases on Wednesday, bringing the local total there to 59,590 cases.

Lincoln-area hospitals are caring for 133 COVID-19 patients, 14 of them on ventilators.

The health department has been focusing on fully vaccinating 75% of the entire population of Lancaster County. Currently, 65.1% of Lancaster County residents are fully vaccinated.

From the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services: Fully Vaccinated Nebraskans 11 Times Less Likely To Be...

Posted by Three Rivers Public Health Department, Nebraska on Wednesday, January 19, 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.

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Moderna, Pfizer for ages 5+ available.
  • 4-7 p.m. at Burke High School, located at 12200 Burke St. – Pfizer for ages 5+ available
  • 4-7 p.m. at Central High School, located at 124 N. 20th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+ available
  • 4-7 p.m. at Omaha Northwest High Magnet School, located at 8204 Crown Point Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+ available
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. – All vaccines available
  • Noon-3 p.m. at Girls Inc., located at 2811 N. 45th St. – All vaccines available
  • 2-5 p.m. at the East African Development Association of Nebraska, located at 4735 NW Radial Highway – Pfizer for ages 5+ available
  • Noon-3 p.m. at UNL Milo Bail Student Center, located at 6203 University Drive – Pfizer for ages 5+ available
  • Noon-4 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. – All vaccines available

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

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Wednesday, January 19, 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.

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 quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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