Monday Feb. 14 COVID-19 update: Nearly 24% of Douglas County’s pandemic cases recorded in January

Also: Nebraska Hospital Decompression Program under way
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 1:07 PM CST
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(WOWT) - Below are today’s updates from data reports on new cases and other COVID-19 stats reported by health officials across Nebraska and western Iowa.

Keep scrolling to find a vaccination clinic near you.

Analyzing January case spike in Douglas County

The Douglas County Health Department shared data Monday to illustrate the impact of the omicron variant on the Omaha-metro.

The health department said Monday that nearly a fourth of the positive tests recorded throughout the entire pandemic happened last month.

DCHD reported 32,836 positive tests in January.

“That number is just slightly fewer than 24% of the total cases since the pandemic began roughly two years ago,” the DCHD release states.

The health department continues to encourage residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Nebraska hospitals feeling some relief

The Nebraska Hospital Association had some encouraging news to report Monday: The Hospital Decompression Program is now in full swing after it was paused last month by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The program allows smaller hospitals to transfer patients who no longer need acute care. Officials said a total of 78-98 new hospital beds will be available beginning this week in Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island.

Amid the rapid drop in new COVID-19 infections, hospital leaders reminded Nebraskans on Monday that healthcare workers are still facing serious challenges.

As of Monday, officials said the statewide positivity rate is just under 11%, and total hospitalizations in Nebraska were at 496 — about the same level as two months ago.

Staffing shortages still plague providers, and mental health is still taking a serious toll on nurses.

“What keeps me up at night is worrying about my staff’s mental health,” said Mike Hansen, president and CEO of Columbus Community Hospital. “We had a nurse shortage prior to the pandemic, and the pandemic has just exacerbated it in a number of ways. Getting nurses in the profession will be a challenge for the foreseeable future.”

Impacts of COVID-19 on Nebraska hospitals

Although Nebraska has seen a drop in cases and hospitalizations, hospitals and healthcare workers are still facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Monday, February 14, 2022

Douglas County update

The Douglas County Health Department issues COVID-19 news releases on weekdays and some weekends.

DEATHS: DCHD reported four COVID-19 deaths on Monday: two unvaccinated women ages 65-98 and two vaccinated men, one in his 50s and one in his 80s, have died.

The local death toll now stands at 1,038 people.

CASES: DCHD reported 325 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the community total to 140,863 cases since March 2020.

Monday’s report continued to pull the local seven-day case average down to its lowest point since Nov. 22. It now stands at 209 cases, down from 237 on Friday.

Local positivity fell Saturday from 16.7% to 12.6%. The cases per 100,000 was at 256.4 on Monday. Comparatively, the state’s positivity rate was 10.7% on Sunday, down from 13.8% a week earlier.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Area hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels.

As of Sunday afternoon, local hospitals were 85% full, with 220 beds available, up from 168 reported last week.

ICUs were 88% full with 37 beds available, up three from Friday’s report, but lower than 60 available early last week. Pediatric ICUs were 86% full, with 18 beds available — three more than reported Friday.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: On Sunday afternoon, there were 29 fewer COVID-19 patients than reported last week, for a total of 288 in local hospitals, according to DCHD’s Monday report. Of those patients, nine still were in pediatric care. In local ICUs, there were 48 adult patients, down from 53 last week; and 22 patients were on ventilators.

Additionally, three adult patients were awaiting COVID-19 test results, DCHD said Monday.

VACCINATIONS: To date, 66% of all Douglas County residents are vaccinated. The most recent group authorized for vaccination, youth ages 5-11, is 30.9% vaccinated; 65.6% of county youth ages 12-17 are fully vaccinated.

Correction: The number of Omaha-metro COVID-19 hospitalizations was incorrect in a previous version of this update. 6 News regrets the error.

Virus hospitalizations and cases still falling across state

(AP) - The number of virus hospitalizations and cases continues to decline sharply across Nebraska giving hospitals some relief.

But hospital officials said Monday that their facilities remain busy with non-COVID-19 patients, and they are dealing with ongoing staff shortages and a backlog of procedures that were delayed during last month’s surge driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

The state said 496 people were hospitalized with the virus in Nebraska Sunday.

That number has declined steadily since hitting a peak of 767 on Jan. 28 after climbing dramatically from the Dec. 25 low of 445.

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.

MONDAY
  • 5-7 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Middle School, located at 6901 Burt St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
TUESDAY
  • Noon-3 p.m. at UNO Milo Bail Student Center, located at 6203 University Drive – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • Noon-4 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available
WEDNESDAY
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+ & Moderna
  • 4-7 p.m. at Burke High School, located at 12200 Burke St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 4-7 p.m. at Bennington High School, located at 16610 Bennington Road – Pfizer for ages 5+
THURSDAY
  • 4-7 p.m. at Central High School, located at 124 N. 20th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
  • 4-7 p.m. at Omaha Northwest High Magnet School, located at 8204 Crown Point Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+
FRIDAY
  • 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: https://www.douglascountyhealth.com/latest-news Douglas County Nebraska Nebraska...

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Friday, February 11, 2022

About Text Nebraska

The Douglas County Health Department is 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.”

Did you take an at-home test?
Self-report your at-home test result

Fill out the Douglas County Health Department form to assist with virus activity data and contact tracing.

The Douglas County health department is asking residents to report any home-test result using a...

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 offers COVID-19 vaccinations at the following clinics:

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

Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-served 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 has scheduled vaccination clinics for all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including pediatric doses, 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.

To make an appointment, call 833-998-2275 or 531-249-1873.

Pottawattamie County

The Pottawattamie County Public Health Department urges residents to take advantage of free drive-through COVID-19 testing at:

  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy on West Broadway
  • Nomi Health at 1751 Madison Ave.
  • Any Walgreens pharmacy location

Free take-home test kits are available at:

  • All Care Health Center, located at 902 S. Sixth St., in Council Bluffs
  • Pottawattamie County Public Health Department office, located at 600 S. Fourth St., Suite 100, in Council Bluffs

Walk-ins can receive COVID-19 vaccinations at the health department office at:

  • 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays
  • 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays

Vaccinations are also available from 8 a.m. to noon at the Veterans Affairs Building, located at 623 Sixth Ave. in Council Bluffs.

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

METHODIST HEALTH INFORMATION: The vaccine is available at most Methodist Physicians Clinic locations. Appointments for the vaccine are recommended and can be made by calling 402-354-CARE.

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 and to get assistance with signing up for a vaccination appointment.

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: Iowans who need help to find a vaccine appointment can call 211 for assistance or 1-800-244-7431. Older or home-bound Iowans can contact Connections Area Agency on Aging at 712-328-2540 or 1-800-432-9209. For multilingual assistance, call 1-877-558-2609.

NATIONAL HOTLINE: To check vaccine availability in your community, call the national COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-232-0233.

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 Health System | 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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