Friday Jan. 21 COVID-19 update: Omaha-area hospitalizations nearing pandemic record

Several school districts reporting significant increases in cases
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 8:55 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.

Omaha-area school dashboards snapshot

Here’s where local districts’ COVID-19 totals stand as of our previous schools report:

Omaha Public Schools was reporting 531 active cases on Friday, down from 744 cases a week earlier: 453 among students and 78 among staff. Last week, OPS reported 592 among students and 152 among staff.

Westside Community Schools reported 112 active cases as of Friday, up from the 16 cases it had reported earlier in the week: 96 were among students, and 16 were staffers. The district has reported 975 cases to date during this school year: 790 among students and 185 among staff. The majority of cases have been at Westside High School and Westside Middle School.

During the 2020-21 school year, Westside had 568 cases: 400 among students and 168 among staff.

Millard Public Schools reported 397 active cases as of Friday, up from 274 cases reported a week earlier.

Millard South High School was reporting 35 cases. Additionally, two high schools and three middle schools were reporting 20-30 cases each:

  • 28 each at Millard North and Millard West high schools
  • 21 cases each at North and Beadle middle schools
  • 20 cases at Central Middle School

Several schools were reporting 10-19 cases:

  • 19 cases at Anderson Middle School
  • 15 cases at Kiewit Middle School
  • 14 cases at Russell Middle School
  • 12 cases at Neihardt Elementary
  • 11 cases each at Ackerman, Black Elk, and Disney elementary schools
  • 10 cases at Harvey Oaks

Many more Millard elementary schools were reporting 7-9 cases, with very few reporting less than five cases.

Elkhorn Public Schools reported Friday that it had 147 active COVID-19 cases, compared to 120 on Monday.

Seven schools were reporting 10 or more cases:

  • 15 cases at Arbor View Elementary School
  • 13 cases at Elkhorn Middle School
  • 12 cases at West Bay Elementary
  • 11 cases each at Elkhorn North and South high schools as well as at Blue Sage Elementary
  • 10 cases at Sagewood Elementary

Papillion La Vista Community Schools had 347 active cases as of Monday, up from 47 cases in the previous week’s report: The most recent report showed 311 cases among students and 36 cases among staff.

Those cases translated to 9.6% of elementary students absent, 9.8% of middle school students absent, and 11% of high school students absent as of Monday.

The schools with the highest absentee rates include:

  • Papillion-La Vista had 13.7% of students absent as of Monday
  • Papillion Middle School had 11.2% of students absent
  • PLECC had nearly 16% of students absent
  • La Vista West Elementary had 13% of students absent
  • Portal had 12.3% of students absent
  • Bell, Patriot, and Tara Heights elementary schools were each reporting a little more than 11% of students absent

Bellevue Public Schools reported 59 active cases among 20 of its schools on Friday, down from 274 the week before. Of those cases, 52 were among students and seven were staffers. Of those reporting case numbers, a few had 10 or more cases:

  • 10 cases at Lewis & Clark elementary schools
  • 19 cases at Bellevue East High School
  • 24 cases at Bellevue West High School

To date, the district has had 1,561 cases this school year: 1,281 among students and 280 among staff.

Gretna Public Schools reported 45 active cases on Friday, compared to 96 cases the week prior. The district was also most recently reporting 897 recovered cases, compared to 674 the week prior.

Council Bluffs Public Schools on Friday reported 304 active cases, up from 199 cases as of last week: 258 were among students and 19 were among staff. That’s more students but fewer teachers infected, compared to last week’s case totals, when 173 were among students and 26 were among staff.

Douglas County reaches vaccination milestone

The Douglas County Health Department on Friday noted an accomplishment in its effort to vaccinate residents against COVID-19: 70% of all eligible residents, those ages 5 and older, are fully vaccinated.

“This is some more good news,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said in Friday’s news release. “While we need to increase this number, and are in no way satisfied, this is a significant step. I want to thank everyone who has made the choice to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The percentage, which has been ticking upwards since the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for children ages 5-11 in November, translates to 64.8% of the county’s entire population.

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Douglas County update

DEATHS: The Douglas County Health Department reported three COVID-19 deaths Friday: two men ages 45-65 and a woman in her 40s have died.

“The younger of the two men was the only one of these individuals who had been vaccinated,” the health department release states.

The local COVID-19 death toll is now at 975.

CASES: DCHD also reported 1,775 cases Friday, bringing the community total to 129,884 cases since March 2020.

The latest report pushes the seven-day rolling average to 1,282 cases, down from an average of 1,295 cases reported Thursday. A month ago, it was 255 cases. Two months ago, it was 209.

The health department dashboard showed the seven-day average for cases among 100,000 people also decreasing. Friday’s update showed 1,562.2 cases per 100,000 people, down from 1,578.3 the previous day. The highest average reported to date was 1,819.3 cases reported Jan. 13.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Area hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels. As of Thursday afternoon, local hospitals were 87% full, with 185 beds available, up from 154 beds available a day prior but less than 207 beds available earlier in the week. ICUs were 94% full with 18 beds available, down from 29 beds available a day prior. Pediatric ICUs were 80% full, with 27 beds available, down from 30 a day earlier.

A year ago, area hospitals were reporting 81% capacity.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: Omaha-metro area hospitals are caring for the most COVID-19 patients since Nov. 25, 2020, according to the county dashboard. As of Thursday afternoon, local hospitals were caring for 11 more COVID-19 patients that the day prior, for a total of 431 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Of those, 19 were in pediatric care — two fewer than the day prior. In local ICUs, there were 109 adult patients, two fewer than the day before; 48 remained on ventilators.

Additionally, 16 adult patients and five pediatric patients were awaiting COVID-19 test results.

A year ago, there were 231 local COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Bryan Health: Don’t go to the ER for a test

Bryan Health, based in Lincoln, was asking residents to help ease ER congestion and look for a COVID-19 test elsewhere if they’re not experiencing symptoms.

“Please remember, do not use emergency department locations to obtain a COVID-19 test if you are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms,” a Bryan Health spokesperson said. “Only utilize emergency department locations if you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high fever, chest pain or shortness of breath.”

Patients were urged to instead schedule an appointment for a test at one of their urgent care locations.

Bryan Health update

Bryan Health, based in Lincoln, reported Friday that it was caring for 93 COVID-19 patients — five more patients than a day prior. That total includes two pediatrics patients.

Bryan hospitals are also caring for 10 other pediatric patients.

Additionally, Bryan reported Friday that 13 of their COVID-19 patients are on ventilators, and 10 more patients are awaiting the results of COVID-19 tests.

Bryan also noted Friday that 30% of the 41 ICU beds at Bryan Medical Center are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Lincoln-Lancaster County update

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported three COVID-19 deaths on Friday: a vaccinated man in his 90s, an unvaccinated woman in her 20s, and an unvaccinated man in his 60s have died.

The local death toll there is 382 people.

LLCHD also reported that it had confirmed 903 cases of COVID-19, bringing the community total to 61,448 cases to date.

Currently, Lancaster County hospitals are caring for 135 COVID-19 patients, 16 of them on ventilators.

As of Friday, 65.2% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Lincoln’s mask mandate is in effect through Feb. 11.

OGEYSIIS muhiim ah. Waxaa dhamaan bulshadda Omaha gaar ahaan dadka ka soo jedda Bariga Afrika la ogeysinayaa in Malinta...

Posted by East African Development Association of Nebraska on Thursday, January 20, 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.

  • 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 Friday, January 21, 2022

About Text Nebraska

The Douglas County Health Department on Thursday was encouraging residents who test positive for COVID-19 to cooperate with Text Nebraska in order to help prevent further spread of the virus.

If you are age 19 or older, have recently tested positive for COVID-19, and provided a cell number when registering for your test, you will likely receive a text message from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services phone number 1-844-774-7604 that prompts you to take a survey. Adding that number to your phone’s directory will assure that your phone or provider doesn’t mark it as a spam call.

“It is not spam and is safe to respond,” DCHD said in a Thursday news release, noting that the survey is completely digital and doesn’t require you to speak with anyone.

“Text Nebraska is the next step in contact tracing, and this is where you can help,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said in the release. “Your response is needed as the number of cases makes it impossible for our staff to keep up with the demand.”

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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