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COVID-19 Updates for Woodbury County

Post Date:05/01/2020 5:01 PM
Woodbury County continues to experience significant increases in confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of May 1, 2020, there are 1,034 confirmed cases in Woodbury County residents. Of these, 212 have met the criteria for release from public health monitoring and isolation, and are considered recovered.

In addition to the increase in testing that is available locally, there has also recently been a great deal of targeted testing occurring in our area among specific groups and facilities where virus activity is known to be high. Much of this is occurring outside of our county and state, but it includes many residents of Woodbury County. As this testing occurs, more confirmed cases are identified which require follow up, and may also call for more needed testing of contacts of the current cases. This is a cycle that will likely continue for the near future and we anticipate seeing testing numbers, and confirmed cases, continue to increase.

“This unprecedented time is not easy,” said Siouxland District Health Department Director Kevin Grieme. “We want everyone to know that the actions they are taking - staying away from groups of people and keeping a 6-foot distance from other individuals – are important and make a difference.” These actions, known as social distancing, help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation earlier this week allowing the reopening of some business types and lifting gathering requirements for certain counties beginning today, May 1. The proclamation applies to 77 counties in Iowa where COVID-19 activity remains lowest. The new guidelines do not apply to organizations in Woodbury County due to ongoing significant COVID-19 activity.

“It’s important for residents and businesses in Woodbury County to remember COVID-19 is still spreading in our community,” said Grieme. “We aren’t out of the woods yet. There is still a lot of work to be done, so we need everyone to continue practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations to slow the spread of the virus.”

You can do your part by:
• Staying home as much as possible. Leave only for essential errands like groceries, and seeking medical care. Call first before going to a medical clinic or emergency room. When you run errands, send only one person from the household, if possible.
• Staying home when even mildly ill (the kind of illness that normally wouldn’t prevent you from your everyday activities). This includes while waiting for any test results.
• Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• In addition, family members or other close contacts of either a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 should stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

It is especially important for our most vulnerable residents, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose.

Read the full proclamation here.

For further information about novel coronavirus and case counts, visit the Siouxland District Health Department website at http://www.siouxlanddistricthealth.org/home.html or the Iowa Department of Public Health at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus. In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
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