by Marianne Gasaway
Health officials confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 in Cerro Gordo County Sunday, March 22. Both cases involved adults in the 18- to 40-year-old range. Monday, public health officials reported two more cases in Hancock County, with both being older adults ages 61 to-80-years, bringing the statewide confirmed total to 105; 2,243 negative tests have been conducted at the State Hygienic Lab.
“Contact tracing is completed to identify those who have come in close contact with someone who is infected with a virus,” according to a statement from CG Public Health. “This helps those contacts get care if needed and prevent further transmission of the virus. This is currently happening with positive cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health has decided not to release information on times and locations where infected COVID-19 individuals have visited.”
“IDPH is not releasing details of locations, times, etc. because there is no public health action recommended that is different from what we are advising all Iowans to take. Since we know there is community spread, all Iowans should be practicing social distancing, staying home when ill, and monitoring their symptoms, regardless of community exposures,” stated an IDPH representative.
CG Public Health and MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center are working in partnership to ensure all persons who are tested receive results.
“We have been working around the clock, seven days a week, preparing for our response to positive cases with local partners such as MercyOne North Iowa, School Districts, Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management, Clear Lake and Mason City First Responders and more,” said Brian Hanft director of CG Public Health. “We are communicating daily, acquiring resources, planning childcare for essential services, reviewing hospital surge plans, providing guidance as we learn of new information, and completing contact tracing on infected individuals. It’s important to remember these additional steps are in place to help protect our community and limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Everyone can do their part to help respond to COVID-19 by staying home when you can, washing your hands frequently, staying home when sick, and cover coughs and sneezes with your upper arm or elbow.
For more guidance on isolation, even if you’re feeling fine, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/7/3_22_20%20Isolation%20guidance%20for%20Iowans.pdf.
For more information about COVID-19, visit CG Public Health’s website at cghealth.com. Follow CG Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@CGPublicHealth).