Risk dial remains in mid-orange, pediatrician sees rising cases in children

27 COVID deaths in August, officials say this is the most the Lincoln and Lancaster County area has seen since February.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – 27 COVID deaths in August, officials say this is the most the Lincoln and Lancaster County area has seen since February.

Of that number, 22 were unvaccinated, and that’s not the only thing that worries people in the medical world.

“Patients hospitalized locally continue an alarming upward trend,” said health director Pat Lopez. “The seven-day average number of patients rose to more than 84 on August 28. Today, 76 people have been hospitalized.”

We have an average of 125 new cases a day, but Lopez says the increase is slowing.

That’s why she says there are no new mandates or restrictions and the COVID risk button is not moving. It stays in the middle orange.

An update was provided by a pediatrician, saying that the number of cases in children in her clinic is increasing and that the variant is affecting unvaccinated parents and their families.

“In June we had two cases, in July we had nine cases. And so far in August we’ve had 53 cases. So we’re seeing an increasing number,” said Erin Schmitz, MD, for Lincoln Pediatrics.

“It’s not just the numbers, but what’s happening in the community that makes it very critical.”

Schmitz encourages anyone 12 and older to get vaccinated, adding that her office and other clinics are giving the opportunity.

Upcoming vaccination clinics (subject to change; walk-ins welcome at all locations):

Wednesday, September 1, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Southeast Community College Gymnasium, 8800 “O” St. – First and Second Dose Friday, September 3, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, LLCHD, 3131 “O” St. – First and Second Dose Wednesday, September 8, 4:00pm to 6:00pm, LLCHD – First and Second Dose Friday, September 10, 9:00am to 2:00pm, LLCHD – First and Second Dose

To test: The process begins with a free online risk assessment available at BryanHealth.com and CHIHealth.com. Testing is possible from:

Bryan Health: Testing is available to those who have symptoms at the three Bryan Urgent Care locations, 7501 S. 27th St.; 5901 N. 27th St.; and 4333 S. 86th St. Appointments are not required.
CHI Health: Walk-in testing is available at three priority care locations: Antelope Creek, 2510 S. 40th St., Suite 100; Southwest, 1240 Ram Drive; and Stevens Creek, 1601 N. 86th St. For drive-up testing, virtual express care is available 24/7 at CHIHealth.com to chat with a provider and schedule a testing appointment.
Nomi Health: Drive-thru testing is available at Gateway Mall Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments are not required, but people are encouraged to pre-register by visiting testing.nomihealth.com/signup/ne.
Local pharmacies including CVS, HyVee and Walgreens, offices of healthcare providers and emergency care clinics also offer testing. Those who are uninsured or underinsured can call the LLCHD COVID-19 hotline at 402-441-8006 to connect to testing resources.

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