Douglas County Health Department reports 794 new COVID cases Thursday; nine more deaths

covid testing
Posted at 10:49 AM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 14:18:53-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) confirmed Thursday that 794 new positive COVID-19 tests had been received since midnight the previous day.

According to Phil Rooney, a spokesperson for the Douglas County Health Department, 538 new cases were reported last year on this date.

On Wednesday, the county reported 735 new positive cases.

When asked if an increase in COVID testing could account for a greater number of positive tests, Rooney told 3 News Now via email that weekly testing averages have remained around 22,000 tests per week in the county and, with some fluctuation, haven't changed significantly.

The health department reported nine new COVID-19 related deaths including four men between the ages of 65 and 75. Two of the men were vaccinated.

Five women also died including one in her 50s, two in their 80s and two over 90. Three of the women were unvaccinated.

The health department received the above-mentioned death certificates on Wednesday, but it doesn't mean that the deaths occurred on that day.

The Omaha Metropolitan Health Care 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 hospital capacity report to the Douglas County Health Department on a near-daily basis.

Not all patients receiving care in the ICU have COVID-19; however, with increasing cases, the health department is concerned about hospital capacity.

The most recent local hospital report received by the health department on Wednesday afternoon:

  • Medical and surgical beds were at 89% occupancy with 162 staffed beds available.
  • Adult ICU beds were occupied at an 89% rate with 32 staffed beds available.
  • Forty-four individuals who were confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 were on ventilators.
  • There were 291 individuals hospitalized who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with 88 of them receiving adult ICU level care. 
  • Eight pediatric patients were confirmed among those hospitalized. 
  • Pediatric ICU beds were at 88% capacity with 15 beds available.
  • There were six additional COVID-19 persons of interest (generally waiting for test results) to report, with all of them adults.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths in Douglas County during the pandemic increases to 915. The total number of positive cases reported since March of 2020 is 103,128.

The health department is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday in its offices at 1111 S. 41st St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All three of the COVID-19 vaccines will be offered.

Due to the New Year’s Day holiday, the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) offices will be closed Friday through Monday, and no public COVID-19 vaccine clinics are scheduled until Tuesday.

“While our clinics will not be open to serve you, there are many other opportunities for you to be vaccinated,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said. “Please check our website at and make the choice to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you can.”

The Health Department will resume COVID-19 vaccine clinics with a clinic on Tuesday from noon until 4 p.m. at the DCHD offices, 1111 S. 41st St. That clinic will offer all the vaccine options.

Clinics are set for Wednesday at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, 5544 Ames Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at Creighton Prep High School, 7400 Western Ave., from 4-7 p.m. with all the Pfizer vaccines.

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