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Douglas County Health Department raising concerns about rising COVID-19 hospitalizations

COVID-19 tests
Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 14:15:42-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is sending out a warning about rising COVID-19 cases.

"Last year on this date we had 19 new positive COVID-19 tests and about half as many people hospitalized as today," said health department spokesman, Phil Rooney.

In an email, he pointed to data around outcomes for vaccinated people. According to Rooney, 10% of people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 experience a breakthrough case, but the percentage of individuals who have died from breakthrough cases is .044%.

On Thursday, DCHD reported that 300 new positive COVID-19 tests were received since Tuesday’s report. This is fewer than Tuesday's report, but the previous report includes a longer period of time.

The Health Department received three new COVID-19-related death certificates since Tuesday. Three unvaccinated men have died, including one in his 50s, one in his 60s, and one in his 90s. The CDC definition of "vaccinated" is if the person has received one shot of the J&J vaccine or two of the others. The three men who died had no vaccinations.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths in Douglas County during the pandemic has increased to 1,127.

The results of at-home tests can be reported on the health department website.

The Omaha Metropolitan Healthcare Coalition — which encompasses Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, and Washington counties in Nebraska, plus hospitals in Council Bluffs and Missouri Valley, Iowa — releases updated COVID-19 case counts and a hospital occupancy report to the Douglas County Health Department on Mondays and Thursdays. The overall numbers include both COVID-19 patients and hospitalized patients for all other illnesses and injuries unless otherwise noted.

According to the most recent local hospital update received by DCHD on Wednesday:

  • There were 79 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 with one pediatric case. 
    • Twelve adults with COVID-19 were receiving ICU-level care.
    • Two people who were confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 were on a ventilator.
  • Medical and surgical beds were occupied at an 88% occupancy rate with 179 staffed beds available for all patients.
    • Adult ICU beds were occupied at an 80% rate with 61 staffed beds available for all patients.
    • Pediatric ICU beds were at 86% of capacity with 18 beds available for all patients.
  • There was one adult COVID-19 person of interest (generally waiting for test results).

The number of positive cases since March of 2020 now totals 153,487.

Additional Note: DCHD's Vital Statistics Office on the H Level of the City-County Building will close early on Friday, June 3 at 3 p.m.
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