COVID Numbers Improve in Douglas County, Vaccination Rates Don't

Sept. 14, 2021, 1:50 p.m. ·

Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse wearing a mask with chairs behind her.
Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse also acts as Omaha's city health director. (Photo from live stream)

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Douglas County’s Health Director reported Tuesday that COVID case numbers are looking better, but warned against thinking the pandemic battle is over just yet.

Health Director Lindsay Huse told Douglas County Commissioners that case numbers are slowly dropping in after the recent delta variant surge. She said there are fewer pediatric COVID cases and hospital capacity has stayed fairly stable over the past few weeks. But she said vaccinations have slowed.

“Vaccination rates really have stagnated for the most part, so we’re not seeing nearly as many people coming out to get their vaccine, but we are certainly going to them,” Huse said.

Douglas County continues to schedule vaccine clinics in every part of the Omaha area, including at schools where students 16-years and older can be vaccinated. Huse said despite the better numbers, there have been eight COVID deaths over the past two weeks.

“Of those, four of them were under the age of 65. Several of them didn’t have any pre-existing conditions,” she said. “Six of the total deaths were unvaccinated. The two that were vaccinated were elderly and had underlying conditions as well.”

Huse said vaccination continues to be the number one tool against serious illness and death related to COVID. The county is currently offering third doses to immunocompromised residents and is getting ready to be able to offer booster shots when they’re approved, possible later this month.

Around 55% of all Douglas County residents are fully vaccinated.