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Nebraska officials talk about COVID-19, variants and J&J vaccine

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials will update the community on the City’s efforts...
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials will update the community on the City’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a briefing on Tuesday.(City of Lincoln)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 1:31 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and health officials updated the community on the COVID-19 variants in Nebraska, as well as the incidents involving the J&J Vaccine.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced that 54 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Lancaster County, bringing the community total to 30,251. The total number of deaths in the community remains at 230. Recoveries have increased to 27,173.

The COVID-19 Risk Dial remains at moderate (yellow) risk.

Mayor Gaylor Baird was pleased to announce that residences aged 18 and older were able to sign up for vaccinations through the LLCHD.

“I have marveled at how these teenagers, on the verge of adulthood, have adapted during this pandemic,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “Along with the normal milestones this time in their lives; going to prom, getting a drivers licenses, registering to vote for the first time. This generation is uniquely being called on to add another new milestone: Getting vaccinated.”

The LLCHD has vaccinated the highest number of residents within their district, and consistently remains in the top third of vaccinations, out of the 19 Nebraskan health districts.

The LLCHD has vaccinated the highest number of residents within their district, and...
The LLCHD has vaccinated the highest number of residents within their district, and consistently remains in the top third of vaccinations, out of the 19 Nebraskan health districts.(LLCHD)

Health Director Pat Lopez said that the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine has been paused for the time being, due to recommendations of the CDC and FDA. According to the CDC, adverse side effects are extremely rare amongst individuals. Should a person experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or swelling or shortness of breath after vaccination with the J&J Vaccine, they should seek medical assistance.

Weekly positivity rate:

April 3 through 9: 4.7%

April 10 through 13: no data

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 positive patients: 27 with 18 from Lancaster County (one on a ventilator) and nine from other communities (none on ventilators).

Risk Dial: mid-yellow, moderate risk of COVID-19 spread

Vaccinations administered:

Initiated vaccinations (first doses): 141,212

Completed vaccinations (second doses and J&J vaccine): 97,182

At this week’s clinics, LLCHD expects to provide first doses to residents age 18 and older. Vaccinations may be offered to those in younger age groups depending on the supply of vaccine and the available appointments.

As individuals in specific age groups and those with serious health conditions are contacted to schedule vaccinations, family members living in the same households are now able to schedule vaccinations as well. LLCHD is also contacting household members of those in age groups previously vaccinated. The health department continues to work with Bryan Health and CHI Health St. Elizabeth to hold clinics for people with serious health conditions. LLCHD recently contacted residents age 16 and up with serious health conditions to schedule appointments at upcoming clinics.

Next week’s large-scale clinics:

Monday, April 12, Center for People in Need – nearly 1,300 first doses administered

Thursday, April 15, Pinnacle Bank Arena – first and second doses

Friday, April 16, Pinnacle Bank Arena – first doses

Two first-dose drive-through clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 and Saturday, April 17 at 6100 “O” Street, in the drive-through garages at the north parking lot of the former Sears store at Gateway Mall. LLCHD is notifying residents to schedule appointments for these clinics.

Registration: There are appointments available for this week’s first dose clinics. Lancaster County residents can complete the quick and simple registration process now at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.

Those who do not have online access or who need assistance may call LLCHD’s COVID-19 hotline at 402-441-8006 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to register. Those who are registered will be contacted to schedule an appointment as vaccine becomes available. Appointments for vaccinations are dependent on vaccine supply and are not related to the order in which people register.

Testing: The process begins with a free online risk assessment available at BryanHealth.com, CHIHealth.com or TestNebraska.com.

Drive-through testing is available from:

  • CHI Health St. Elizabeth: Autumn Ridge Family Medicine, 5000 North 26th St. and Southwest Family Health, 1240 Aries Drive. Call either site to schedule an appointment: Autumn Ridge, 402-435-5300 and South West Family, 402-420-1300.
  • Test Nebraska: Gateway Mall, 6100 “O” St., north parking lot of the former Sears store. Tests are conducted from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 402-207-9377

Testing is also available without an appointment at the three Bryan Urgent Care locations, 7501 S. 27th St., 5901 N. 27th St. and 4333 S. 86th St. To check wait times, call 402-481-6343.

For more information, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department hotline at 402-441-8006.

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