Thursday Sept. 1 COVID-19 update: 5 deaths in Douglas County
UNMC expert recommends updated boosters
(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.
Nebraska data snapshot
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services provides COVID-19 data updates generally each week via its Respiratory Illness Dashboard, found on the Nebraska Public Health Atlas. That dashboard does not include data on COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths, hospital capacity, or vaccinations.
CASES & POSITIVITY: Testing numbers across the state have remained steady the past three weeks, ranging from about 17,300 to 17,700 tests weekly. In the same time period, positivity rates have remained around 15%.
About a month ago, it was 17.5%; two months ago, it was 12.3%. The highest recorded positivity rates during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic have been 23.2% at the end of April 2020 and 23.4% in mid-January 2022.
RSV and influenza numbers, also available on the dashboard, remain at low rates in Nebraska, though RSV rates have been higher in recent weeks, reaching a high of 2.9% for the year to date Aug. 20.
Pottawattamie County data snapshot
The following information is from data dated Tuesday on the Iowa Department of Public Health website, which no longer includes hospitalization and hospital capacity data.
DEATHS: IDPH has reported three more COVID-19 deaths since our previous data pull; the county’s death toll now stands at 326 people. IDPH provides no demographic information about COVID-19 deaths on its dashboard.
The website also indicates the state recorded 90 COVID-19 deaths in the same timeframe, bringing the pandemic death toll to 9,940 people.
CASES: IDPH data shows that 368 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Pottawattamie County in the past three weeks. The county’s totals are now 30,579 positive tests and 26,271 cases.
The website also shows that the average per 100,000 people in the county is 157.7 cases, down from 187.8 cases reported three weeks ago; and that 508 positive tests were reported in the past three weeks, 147 of them in the past seven days.
VACCINATIONS: IDPH removed its data on vaccinations about a month ago. The latest data showed Pottawattamie County reporting a 56.5% vaccination rate among those ages 5 and older, compared to a 63% vaccination rate for the same age group in all of Iowa. That amounts to 53% of the county’s total population, compared to the 59.1% vaccination rate for the state.
The state website did not previously include vaccination data for children younger than age 5.
Three Rivers data snapshot
Three Rivers Public Health Department COVID-19 dashboard was not available this week.
UNMC expert talks about boosters
He said it’s a vaccine worth waiting for, but noted that the older COVID-19 vaccinations are still effective.
“It’s not as if the old vaccines are now worthless... now that we’re going to have these new vaccines coming out. I think they’re still very good,” Dr. Lawler said. “You have dramatically lower risk of hospitalization... death... and more data seems to indicate lower risk of long COVD... if you’ve been vaccinated and boosted compared to those who haven’t.”
According to the CDC, just over 67% of U.S. residents have had at least two COVID shots, and less than 49% of those people have received a booster.
Douglas County update
The Douglas County Health Department has been reporting COVID-19 data twice weekly, issuing updated stats on Mondays and Thursdays.
DEATHS: DCHD reported five COVID-19 deaths on Thursday.
“Three men in their 60s or 70s have died. Only one was vaccinated,” the DCHD release states. “Two unvaccinated women over 70 also died.”
The local COVID-19 pandemic death toll now stands at 1,171 people.
CASES: DCHD reported Thursday that 419 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed since Monday. A year ago, DCHD was reporting that 193 cases had been confirmed in the previous 24 hours. The latest recent cases bring the local pandemic total to 167,566 cases.
The most recent case numbers lowered the seven-day average to 128 cases as of Thursday, up from 164 cases reported Monday. According to the Douglas County COVID-19 dashboard, the rolling seven-day average per 100,000 people was 156.3 cases as of Wednesday, up from 148.8 cases reported earlier this week.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: As of late Wednesday, area hospitals were still caring for 145 COVID-19 patients, the same number reported Monday. Of those patients, six were in pediatrics; 18 adult patients were in ICUs; and five people were on ventilators.
A year ago, DCHD was reporting 178 area COVID-19 hospitalizations.
HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Area hospital capacity fluctuates according to staffing levels. As of late Sunday, hospitals were 87% full with 178 beds available, down from 236 reported Monday. Area ICUs were 88% full with 35 beds available, down from 47 reported Monday. Pediatric ICUs were still 89% full with 14 beds available, down one from Monday. A year ago, local hospitals were 80% full with 289 beds available, and ICUs were 86% full with 42 beds available.
VACCINATIONS: To date, 5,182 pediatric doses — for ages 6 months to 4 years — have been administered in the county, resulting in 4.3% of Douglas County children in that age group being fully vaccinated.
Other vaccination numbers showed slight increases from earlier in the week. To date, 67.5% of all Douglas County residents are vaccinated. Of youth ages 5-11, 40.6% are vaccinated; and 69.4% of county youth ages 12-17 are fully vaccinated.
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 for all ages
FRIDAY SEPT. 9
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st St. – All vaccines available for all ages
SATURDAY SEPT. 10
- Noon-3 p.m. at Girls Inc., located at 2811 N. 45th St. – Pfizer & Moderna available for all ages
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.”
Report home test results
Douglas County Health Department on Monday urged residents to report the results of their home COVID-19 tests to them online at douglascountyhealth.com.
“Look for the blue box labeled ‘Report A COVID-19 Home Test,’ then follow the instructions,” the health department requests.
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:
- In south Omaha at the Livestock Building, located at 4920 S. 30th St.
- In Bellevue, at 2207 Georgia Ave.
- In northwest Omaha, at 4229 N. 90th St.
- In Plattsmouth, at 122 S. Sixth St.
OneWorld also offers 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-served basis; or you can call 402-734-4110 to make an appointment.
“Families of non-Children’s patients can schedule by calling 402-955-SHOT,” according to the hospital’s website.
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
- Tuesdays: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Wednesdays: 1-4:30 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.
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.
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 clinic hours:
- In Dodge County, the Three Rivers clinic at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave. in Fremont, is open for walk-ins from 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays.
- 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 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.
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 9 a.m. to 3 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.
Where to get a test: Douglas County
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