Linn County Public Health (LCPH) is closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus and has announced the first laboratory diagnosed case of COVID-19 in Linn County at a news conference Saturday morning. The individual is receiving appropriate medical care. LCPH staff are working to identify those who may have come in contact with this individual prior to testing and will notify any person who may be at risk to provide information and guidance. Since the 11 AM news conference, the Iowa Department of Public Health has announced two additional Linn County cases. According to the Iowa Governor’s Office, the two additional cases are between the ages of 18-40 years old. Linn County Public Health does not have additional information on those cases at this time.
LCPH is reminding residents to practice social distancing which includes remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others. Pramod Dwivedi, LCPH health director further states "People should stay home. Limiting exposure will slow the spread of the virus and prevent a sudden spike in cases that would potentially exceed the healthcare systems capacity to treat patients with or without COVID-19."
At the news conference earlier today, Linn County Clinical Services Branch Supervisor Heather Meador stated, “Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19 will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Those mildly ill Iowans are able to recover at home. We are asking all sick Iowans to stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house.”
Anyone that is sick should monitor their symptoms. If symptoms worsen, the individual should contact their health care provider. As with any other illness, if symptoms are severe, call 911. LCPH also asked that residents help to support individuals and families affected by COVID-19, as well as the larger community by following recommendations offered by health care providers and public health partners.
While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:
- Visit the grocery store or pharmacy at slow hours, where the number of people are reduced.
- Practice social distancing and avoid handshakes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; If soap and water are not available then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick. If you need to see a health care provider, call first.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For more information on COVID-19, visit:
Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.