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Tuesday March 22 COVID-19 update: UNMC expert on omicron BA.2 subvariant progression

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 2:17 PM CDT
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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.

Sarpy/Cass data snapshot

The following information is from data posted Monday on the Sarpy/Cass Health Department COVID-19 dashboard and website.

DEATHS: The Sarpy/Cass Health Department reported no additional COVID-19 deaths, keeping the health district’s death toll at 286 people.

Of those who have died, 115 were ages 80 and older, 67 were in their 70s, 57 were in their 60s, 24 were in their 50s, 13 were in their 40s, six were in their 30s, and four were in their 20s.

The dashboard does not provide any information about pre-existing conditions.

CASES: The health department reports that there are currently 121 active cases of COVID-19 in Sarpy County, down from 167 reported about a week ago; and seven in Cass County, down from 10 active cases reported in last week’s update.

The health department added 378 cases since last week, bringing the total in Sarpy County to date to 49,307 cases. In the same timeframe, two cases were added to Cass County’s total, bringing the current pandemic total there to 6,001 cases.

Of the health district’s active cases, most are in their 20s, 30s, and 50s: 20, 23, and 18 cases, respectively. There are 14 active cases among youth ages 14 and younger, with nine cases among children ages 4 and younger, the only age group not yet able to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

POSITIVITY RATE: The health department reported a test positivity rate of 2.7% as of Saturday, down from 3.9% reported a week prior and 5.4% reported March 3. The lab ran 40 tests in the week ending Saturday, compared to 77 the week prior.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: The Sarpy/Cass Health Department’s hospital data is provided by Douglas County, according to its dashboard. As of Sunday, area hospitals were caring for 94 COVID-19 patients, two of whom were on ventilators. Area hospitals were also 81% full with 274 beds available, with ICUs 78% full with 66 beds available.

VACCINATIONS: The health department was reporting a 65.2% vaccination rate among Sarpy County residents and 61.1% for Cass County as of Monday.

Three Rivers data snapshot

The following information is from data posted Monday evening on the Three Rivers Public Health Department COVID-19 dashboard. The health district covers Dodge, Saunders, and Washington counties.

DEATHS: Three Rivers reported no COVID-19 deaths since March 7. The local death toll remains at 202 people.

The dashboard does not provide any detailed information about deaths or pre-existing conditions.

CASES: 3RPHD data indicates it had tested for COVID-19 301 times in the last two weeks. Of those, the health department reported 40 COVID-19 cases: 19 in Dodge County, 11 in Saunders County, and 10 in Washington County. Nineteen cases were reported in the previous seven days, according to the dashboard.

The health district has reported 18,726 people infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

3RPHD was reporting a seven-day rolling average of 3.44 cases per 100,000 people as of Monday, down from 5.25 cases on March 7 and 15.6 reported on Feb. 24.

POSITIVITY RATE: As of March 13, 3RPHD was reporting a 0% positivity rate among residents in Dodge and Washington counties, down from 3.12% and 3.03% the week prior, respectively. In Saunders County, the positivity rate was 25%, up from an adjusted 2.39% on March 6.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: The health district’s hospital data is provided by Douglas County, according to its dashboard. As of Sunday, area hospitals were caring for 94 COVID-19 patients, two of whom were on ventilators. Area hospitals were also 81% full with 274 beds available, with ICUs 78% full with 66 beds available.

VACCINATIONS: 3RPHD was reporting a 59.8% vaccination rate among Dodge County residents, 57.1% for Saunders County, and 59.1% for Washington County as of Monday.

Lincoln-Lancaster County update

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported 14 cases in that area on Tuesday, bringing the pandemic total there to 69,534 cases to date.

The Lincoln-area death toll stands at 430 people.

LLCHD also reported hospitals there were caring for 33 COVID-19 patients, but none of them were on ventilators.

The area risk dial is currently at green, meaning the risk of spread and community impact is low, Tuesday’s LLCHD release states.

To date, 66.7% of Lancaster County residents are fully vaccinated.

UNMC expert gives update on BA.2

In a weekly update Tuesday, Dr. James Lawler, an infectious disease expert at UNMC, talked about the progression of the omicron BA.2 subvariant.

It’s become the dominant strain relatively rapidly, he said, noting that BA.2 has made its way around the world in about 80 days, with a pretty significant resurgence in case counts in the U.K.

Experts are checking against the rate of boosters received in the country to estimate how bad the surge could be, he said.

Dr. Lawler said only about 29% of Americans are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, so if there’s have a resurgence in cases, it’s likely there will be higher hospitalizations and deaths than those countries with a more boosted population are seeing.

Hong Kong is seeing cases and deaths go back down after being hit by BA.2 the last couple of months, he said. But China is on a significant upward trajectory.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., cases are starting to trend upwards again in the northeast, and wastewater sequencing has shown levels of BA.2 present there. The Omaha-metro area is a few weeks behind that, and other parts of the country are expected to see similar trends as well.

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.

TUESDAY
  • 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 the Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+ & Moderna
  • 5-7 p.m. at Burke High School, located at 5610 S. 42nd St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
THURSDAY
  • 5-7 p.m. at Gateway Elementary School, located at 5610 S. 42nd St. – 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
SATURDAY
  • 8 a.m.-noon at the Black Family Health & Wellness Association Health Fair, held at Omaha North High Magnet School, 4410 N. 36th St. – All vaccines available
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Nelson Mandela Elementary School, located at 6316 N. 30th St. – Pfizer for ages 5+ & Moderna
TUESDAY MARCH 29
  • Noon-4 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st St. – All vaccines available
  • 5-7 p.m. at the Standing Bear Elementary School, located at 15860 Taylor St. – Pfizer for ages 5+
WEDNESDAY MARCH 30
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 5544 Ames Ave. – Pfizer for ages 5+ & Moderna
  • 5-7 p.m. at the Heart Ministry Center, located at 2222 Binney St. – Pfizer for ages 5+& Moderna
FRIDAY APRIL 1
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st St. – All vaccines available
SATURDAY APRIL 2
  • 3-5 p.m. at the East African Development Association of Nebraska, located at 4735 NW Radial Highway – All vaccines available

Douglas County Nebraska Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Omaha Scanner Omaha Fire Department NOISE KETV NewsWatch 7 Omaha World-Herald

Posted by Douglas County Health Department on Saturday, March 19, 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.

Vaccines available at this clinic:​ ● First and second doses (Pfizer age 5+, Moderna age18+, Johnson & Johnson age...

Posted by Sarpy/Cass Health Department on Monday, March 21, 2022

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 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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