Nebraskans adjusting to life with COVID-19

Local4 News at 5
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:20 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - We’re now three years into the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of Americans are still dying from the virus.

The Department of Health and Human services said there have been 563,000 cases of COVID in Nebraska since the pandemic started, and more than 4,000 deaths.

Officials said to be considered fully vaccinated, you must have completed the primary series and the available boosters. But also, people are simply adjusting to the virus being a part of their lives.

“I think what I’m seeing here in this part of the country is people trying to transition to what life looks like now after three years of in a pandemic, and also thinking about how we are really incorporating COVID-19 into our lives,” said Dr. Catherine Satterwhite, Regional Health Administrator, DHHS.

Dr. Satterwhite said getting your updated boosters will protect you from the COVID strains that continue to circulate. Adding, some are arming themselves with knowledge about the virus.

“So I’m seeing people still continue to get their updated vaccines but also continue to ask questions about COVID and those could be lots of questions,” said Satterwhite. “It could be about vaccine. I think were doing ok vaccination wise compared to the rest of the country.”

Dr. Satterwhite said she’s seeing more people be more vigilant about their own symptoms by taking measures like wearing mask to protect others when they’re feeling sick. As inflation continues to effect the country, it’s next hit could be the price health facilities pay to obtain vaccines.

“We have been given a fair number of doses and that might take us through perhaps even early fall but at some point we will have to start purchasing the vaccine which means the price for the shot will be increased,” said Teresa Anderson, Health Director at Central District Health Department.

That cost increased has not yet been determined, and there’s no sign that people will have to pay for vaccines because most insurance providers still cover it. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the country has spent over $25,000,000,000 on COVID vaccines. This has local health officials urging people to get all their vaccinations.

“We still have a lot of cases out there and we know that getting the shot helps protect against serious illness and hospitalization,” said Anderson. “So it can make the summer a whole lot more pleasant if people seek that dose right now.”

Anderson said their isn’t a lot of testing going on in the area, and people question if the virus is still out there. Adding, Grand Island waste water measure is very high (80-100 %) and they are using that as an indicator to how many cases are out there.