LINN COUNTY, IA – Linn County residents have begun to decide how, and with whom, to celebrate the upcoming holidays as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to climb to all-time highs. At this time, the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 increases dramatically when individuals spend time indoors with others from different households, a major contributor to the rise in recent COVID-19 cases. Additionally, the most recent proclamation from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds limits indoor gatherings to 15 or fewer people to help minimize spread of the virus.
As we approach Thanksgiving, Linn County Public Health (LCPH) urges residents to review and follow Holiday Guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This guidance, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes:
- Considerations for Small Gatherings
- Considerations for Hosting or Attending a Gathering
- Travel Considerations
- Holiday activities by risk level, including:
- Lowest Risk: Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household, having a virtual dinner with friends and family, and contactless shopping.
- Moderate Risk: Having a small outdoor dinner with no more than 10 family and friends who live in your community
- Higher Risk: Attending indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household and shopping in crowded stores
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household, who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, poses the lowest risk for spread. This aligns with local hospital guidance and is the best way to keep family and friends healthy. LCPH urges everyone to continue general mitigation measures; and to consider your health, and the health of those around you, when choosing how to celebrate this holiday season. Modifying your holiday plans this year will to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and our community healthy and safe. Doing your part by continuing to maintain a physical distance, wearing a face covering, avoiding large gatherings, practicing good hygiene, and staying home when ill to slow community spread of COVID-19 will help ensure we can all make it through this pandemic together.
LCPH is experiencing a large number of phone calls and email messages. COVID related concerns and questions will be answered as soon as possible. For more information on COVID-19, visit: