Omaha Public Schools plans move to optional masking
Omaha Public Schools plans move to optional masking

Omaha Public Schools plans move to optional masking

(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.

Lancaster County ends mask mandate

(KOLN) – Due to significant declines in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced Friday that the local Directed Health Measure will end at 11:59 p.m. tonight. The measure, which includes a mask mandate for individuals ages 2 and older, was originally scheduled to end February 25.

As a result of the LLCHD ending their mask mandate, Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are also ending their mask mandates.

UNL mask policy update

(KOLN) – UNL announced on Friday that they will no longer require face masks indoors beginning at midnight. Face coverings will still be required in classes where students work in close proximity with each other, or if certain class members/instructors have documented health-related issues.

UNL still encourages masks to be worn indoors, especially if it’s not possible to socially distance.

OPS moves to remove mask requirement

Omaha Public Schools informed staff and families on Friday that its board of education would be re-evaluating the need to continue mandatory masking in OPS schools.

“Pending Board of Education approval, masks would be optional in our schools beginning Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Those who wish to continue wearing a face covering are welcome to do so,” the OPS letter states.

OPS staff and families were advised that they would receive an update on the decision Thursday night if the policy change is approved.

OPS has had a mask requirement in place since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

Douglas County update

In its Friday update, the Douglas County Health Department was encouraging residents to help continue the decline in local COVID-19 stats by encouraging high-risk people to get tested early if they develop symptoms.

“People who are at risk of severe disease due to COVID-19 now have several options for early treatment, including two new pills,” the DCHD release states. “These pills must be taken within five days of symptom onset and require a prescription from a health care provider. The pills are currently available only at certain pharmacies.”

DEATHS: DCHD reported five COVID-19 deaths Friday: two men in their 60s, one of whom was vaccinated; an unvaccinated woman in her 70s, a vaccinated man older than age 85, and a vaccinated woman who was also over 85 have died.

The latest deaths bring the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,055 people.

CASES: DCHD also reported 135 new cases on Friday, bringing the local pandemic total to 141,328 cases. Friday’s report brings the seven-day average to 132 cases, down from 140 cases the day prior.

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

As of Thursday afternoon, local hospitals were 90% full, with 145 beds available, down from 174 reported a day earlier. ICUs were 93% full with 21 beds available, down from 43 reported a day prior. Pediatric ICUs were 89% full with 14 beds available, seven fewer than reported a day earlier.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: On Thursday afternoon, there was one fewer COVID-19 patient than reported the day prior, for a total of 257 in local hospitals, according to DCHD’s Friday report. Of those patients, with nine still in pediatric care. In local ICUs, there were 42 adult patients, 20 of them on ventilators.

Additionally, seven adult patients and one pediatric patient were awaiting COVID-19 test results, DCHD said Friday.

VACCINATIONS: To date, 66.2% of all Douglas County residents are vaccinated. The most recent group authorized for vaccination, youth ages 5-11, is 31.5% vaccinated; 65.9% of county youth ages 12-17 are fully vaccinated.

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.

FRIDAY
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Douglas County Health Department, located at 1111 S. 41st. St. – All vaccines available
SATURDAY
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. John AME Church, located at 2402 N. 22nd St. – Pfizer for ages 5+ & Moderna
SUNDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY FEB 25
SATURDAY FEB 26

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?

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:

  • Wahoo: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month at 1320 E. 31st St.
  • Fremont: 3-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and noon-3:30 p.m. Fridays at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave.

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

WOWT.com quick search: COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Vaccine

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