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Nebraska COVID cases remain among lowest in nation per capita

Nebraska COVID cases remain among lowest in nation per capita

Several nonprofits could benefit from a proposed bill in the Nebraska legislature to help projects shut down by the pandemic.

Nebraska’s COVID-19 case count continued to decline last week, with the weekly total dropping under 300 for the first time since the pandemic’s earliest days last March and April.

The state recorded 254 new cases for the week ending Friday, down from 378 the previous week and 536 the week before that, according to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

As of Monday, only two states — Vermont and South Dakota — had lower per capita case counts, calculated as the number of cases during the preceding seven days per 100,000 residents.

Cases are on a similar trajectory nationwide, with the United States’ seven-day average for new cases down 45% over the preceding 14 days, according to the New York Times.

Vaccination numbers continued to decline in Nebraska and across the country. About 37,000 shots were administered in Nebraska for the week ending Friday, down from about 44,000 the week before. The peak came during one week about two months ago, when vaccinators put some 150,000 shots in arms. The U.S. vaccination rate has fallen two-thirds from its April peak, the Washington Post reported.

Thirteen states, most of them on the coasts, had given at least one shot to 70% of adults, beating the goal set by the Biden administration to have the entire country at that point by July 4.

Nebraska appears to be in striking range of that mark, with 62.4% of those 18 and older having received one dose and 56% of that group fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Iowa was similar, with 62.2% of adults having gotten at least one dose and 57.1% fully vaccinated.

With the Pfizer vaccine approved several weeks ago for use in those 12 and older, efforts continue to add teens to the vaccinated list. All told, 48.9% of all Nebraska residents had received at least one shot, and 43% are fully vaccinated.

The state’s tallies were slightly ahead of the nation as a whole, with 51.5% of the U.S.’s total population having gotten at least one shot and 41.9% fully vaccinated.

Local health departments and others assisting in vaccination efforts have continued to move away from mass vaccination clinics to smaller one-time or pop-up events intended to increase the ease of getting the vaccine.

Several of those scheduled in the coming days are focused specifically on teens.

The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition is hosting a clinic aimed at 12- to 15-year-olds Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the NOAH Clinic parking lot at 5620 Ames Ave. Teens must be accompanied by an adult. Hourly drawings will be held for gift cards and other prizes. Call 402-541-3022 for appointments.

Across Nebraska, 6.2% of residents 19 and younger are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

In Douglas County, 1.6% of residents 15 and under were fully vaccinated along with 38.7% of 16- to 19-year-olds. In total, 45.2% of Douglas County residents are fully vaccinated.

The Health Department also has scheduled clinics this week at several churches as well as at Youngblood’s Barber Shop on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Cinco de Mayo on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both events will feature the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Omaha World-Herald: Live Well

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Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.

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