On May 14, 2020, Linn County Public Health released phased reopening guidance, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national organizations. The three-phased approach enables businesses to reopen in a limited capacity, and events and gatherings to occur, while simultaneously aiming to slow community spread of COVID-19 and avoid overwhelming the local healthcare system.
Guidance for moving into Phase Two, and later Phase Three, was determined by ten key disease and resource metrics. Monitoring the status of these metrics began as of May 15, in alignment with the Governor’s proclamation to reopen the first round of Iowa businesses:
- Epidemiology: Identification of new COVID-19 related cases and deaths over a 2-week period (incubation cycle) should be decreasing.
- Health Care: Health care professionals should have an ample supply of personal protective equipment necessary to conduct testing and test potential cases.
- Public Health: Testing must be available for those with symptoms, and public health should have the capacity to interview and monitor known COVID-19 cases and contacts.
These metrics and more, available at https://covid19-unifiedcommand-cityofmarion.hub.arcgis.com/pages/phased-reopening-metrics, demonstrate that all key disease and resource metrics for moving into Phase Two have been met. Linn County Public Health encourages businesses and employers, event organizers, and the public to view additional general guidance, guidance on events and mass gatherings, and business specific guidance on reopening at https://www.linncounty.org/1413/Reopening-Guidance. While the community moves into Phase Two of reopening, prior public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 remain the same.