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Communicable Diseases

COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease, or COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  The virus can spread from an infected person's mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe.  These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols, which may linger in the air and accumulate in indoor places where people are gathered and there is poor ventilation.  Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention, including older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer.

The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to get vaccinated and boosted when you are eligible, following testing guidelines, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing.


 

COVID-19 Vaccination

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department is collaborating with State and local partners to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in a way that provides the most protection for Nebraskans. 


If you need assistance in obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine:

Please call 402-339-4334 and press option 1 or email [email protected].


Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster?

The most up-to-date recommendations can be found on the CDC's Vaccines for COVID-19 webpage.
 

What are the current COVID-19 vaccine recommendations?

The CDC has updated the COVID-19 vaccine recommendations as of September 15, 2023:

  • CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Everyone aged 5 years and older should get 1 dose of the updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • ​​​​​​​Children aged 6 months–4 years need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be up to date, including at least 1 dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.

 

2023-2024 Updated, Bivalent, and Original COVID-19 Vaccines:

2023-2024 Updated COVID-19 Vaccines: As of September 12, 2023, the 2023–2024 updated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were recommended by CDC for use in the United States.

The 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines more closely targets the XBB lineage of the Omicron variant and could restore protection against severe COVID-19 that may have decreased over time. The CDC anticipates the updated vaccines will be better at fighting currently circulating variants.

Novavax’s updated COVID-19 vaccine is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) in individuals aged 12 and older.

2023-2023 Bivalent Vaccines:  As of September 11, 2023, the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are no longer available for use in the United States.

The 2022–2023 bivalent vaccines were designed to protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, had developed bivalent COVID-19 vaccines.

Original Vaccines:  As of April 18, 2023, the original Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are no longer available for use in the United States.

As of May 6, 2023, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine  is no longer available for use in the United States.

Previous COVID-19 vaccines were called “original” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19.

 

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster?

Search for a COVID-19 vaccine provider by zip code and vaccine type on the Vaccine Finder website or call 1-800-232-0233.

Residents who are homebound due to an injury, disability, transportation challenge or medical condition that make it difficult to leave the home and are wanting to receive an in-home COVID-19 vaccination, please call 402-339-4334.


I lost my COVID-19 vaccine card.  How do I get a replacement?

Follow the steps below:

1.  Look up your immunization record history in the Nebraska State Immunization Information System (NESIIS).  Please note, if your social security number has not been entered into the system, your record will not be found in the search.

If your record is unavailable in the NESIIS search...

2.  Contact the clinic where you received the vaccine. The clinic will have records of the vaccine type and the date the vaccine was administered.  You MUST contact the clinic you attended (i.e., pharmacy) to replicate the vaccine card.  The Health Department CANNOT replace cards for residents attending other clinics.

If you attended a Health Department clinic...

3.  E-mail your first and last name, date of birth, and home address to [email protected].  Please allow up to one week to provide you with a replacement vaccination card.  The Health Department may not be able to replace a card for vaccine given at other clinics or pharmacies.


COVID-19 Testing

Where can I get a COVID-19 Test?

Search for a COVID-19 testing providers by zip code on the Testing Location website.

Also, many primary care providers offer COVID-19 testing for their patients. Call your regular doctor’s office to ask about testing.


Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services has launched an at-home testing initiative with the goal of using fast, free, and convenient testing to control the spread of COVID-19.  Find a location to pick up the test kits at eMed Nebraska.

Nebraska eMed Test Kit Instructions English
Nebraska eMed Test Kit Instructions Spanish


Reporting of COVID-19 Positive Results via At-Home Test Kits

Currently Nebraska does not include at-home positive test results in official COVID-19 case numbers.  The Sarpy/Cass Health Department is tracking residents who test positive via an at-home kit to include in unofficial counts.  If you would like to self-report a positive at-home result, please call 402-339-4334 or email [email protected]. Please provide first and last name, date of birth, address, and date the positive test was collected.


Additional Information about COVID-19

COVID-19 Symptoms or Tested Positive for COVID-19?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, the following information may assist you in slowing the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Positive: How to Isolate
 

Travel

International Travel Health Notices: CDC recommendations for postponing or canceling travel to international countries affected by COVID-19.


I'm traveling internationally soon.  What COVID-19 vaccination documentation is required?

At this time, airlines and the destination country determine their own vaccination documentation requirements. These vary widely and are changing frequently. If you need documentation in addition to the COVID-19 vaccination card, call our office at 402-339-4334. For information regarding current requirements for masking, testing, and other COVID-19 precautions during travel, the following websites may be helpful:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): International Travel During COVID-19
 

Help if you are Visually Impaired

It can be overwhelming to find the resources you need during this challenging time, especially if you have poor or no vision. If you can’t see or can’t see very well, call Outlook Enrichment’s COVID-19 Help Line at 531-365-5059 for assistance from people who understand vision challenges and want to help. This line is staffed 8 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Messages received outside of these times will be answered within 24 hours. These resources can also be found at outlookne.org/covidhelp.


Information for the Public

Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19: How to Protect Yourself and Others
COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnancy
Nonpharmaceutical Interventions
 

Information for Healthcare Professionals

COVID-19 information for healthcare professionals


Information for Schools

Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
Nebraska Department of Education Coronavirus Resources for Schools

 

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