News Flash

COVID-19 Status Update

Posted on: March 19, 2021

Linn County COVID-19 Status Update

LINN COUNTY COVID-19 STATUS UPDATE

March 19, 2021


Linn County Public Health held a virtual media briefing on March 18 to provide an update on Linn County COVID-19 vaccination and response efforts. Watch the video.

This week marks the one year anniversary of Linn County’s first laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19. In partnership with the COVID-19 Mental Health Advisory Group, Linn County Public Health released a statement reflecting on this milestone, acknowledging the emotional response it may cause, and bringing a message of hope for the future. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are two-dose vaccines. Due to vaccine distribution methods and supply limitations, all individuals receiving a vaccine should plan to get their first and second dose at the same location. The first and second doses are linked. There is no guarantee a second dose will be available at a location other than where the first dose was administered. Additionally, once an appointment for the second dose is scheduled, the appointment should be kept. Missing or changing your second dose appointment may cause vaccine to be wasted, and puts additional burden on vaccine providers who are scheduling a large number of first and second dose appointments with limited vaccine. Individuals that miss appointments for their second dose of vaccine may need to wait several weeks for the opportunity of have the final dose.  At this time due to limited supply, extra doses are not available. 

Phase 1B

As of March 14, all Phase 1B populations in Linn County are eligible for vaccine. However, the demand for vaccine is greater than the supply, so not everyone in Phase 1B will be able to get vaccine right away.  

Of vaccine allocated to Linn County through Linn County Public Health, 80% will be assigned to adults 65 and older, individuals with disabilities and their caretakers, and individuals age 16 to 64 with underlying conditions. The remaining 20% of vaccine will be assigned to Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1-5 populations, in priority order. This allocation strategy for vaccine will remain in place as supply increases. Linn County will receive approximately 4,800 doses the week of March 22. 

Persons 65 years and older

Individuals 16 to 64 with medical conditions

Tiers 1-5

Vaccine Distribution Highlights

  • Current Phase: Phase 1B
  • Projected time to next phase: All Iowans are anticipated to be eligible April 5, 2021 
  • Priority groups included within Phase 1B: 
    • Individuals 65 and older and individuals age 16 to 64 with medical conditions
    • Prioritized frontline workers and specific populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness
  • Progress within Phase 1B
    • Beginning January 26, Linn County began offering vaccine to persons 65 years of age and older. There are 36,000 people 65 and older in Linn County. In Linn County, 73% of adults 65 and older have begun or completed vaccination. 
    • Phase 1B Tier populations began receiving vaccine on February 1. 
    • On March 8, individuals age 16 to 64 with medical conditions became eligible for vaccine. 
  • Groups to be offered vaccine next: All Iowans are anticipated to be eligible April 5, 2021
  • A report of COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Dashboard by county is posted at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/ 
    • As of March 19, 
      • 30% of eligible Linn County residents have either started or completed the vaccine series
      • Eligible Linn County residents are all residents 16 years of age and older, which is 180,375 people

Questions

For questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County:

  • Visit LinnCounty.org/Vaccine or call 319-892-6097.
  • Older adults may call 211 for help from a vaccine navigator with scheduling an appointment for vaccine and transportation needs. 

Please sign up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 Status Updates to keep up-to-date on vaccine rollout updates and other important information regarding COVID-19 response. For assistance with signing up for updates, view this video. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 vaccine website LinnCounty.org/Vaccine, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097. Stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information. 

COVID-19 Prevention 

On March 17, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced announced that 38 additional cases of the COVID-19 variant strain B.1.1.7., or UK variant, have been identified in Iowa. This is an indication that this strain is circulating within the state much like across the U.S. Based on epidemiologic and modeling data, researchers believe that the B.1.1.7 strain can be spread more easily than the original virus which causes COVID-19. Researchers believe current COVID-19 vaccines will likely protect against B.1.1.7, and additional studies are ongoing. Therefore, it is critical for Iowans to get the vaccine when one is made available to them. Reaching herd immunity will be important in slowing virus transmission. With the news of variant strains spreading within Iowa and the U.S., it is important to continue to follow measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing hands, staying home if you feel sick, getting tested, and getting a vaccine when you are eligible.

On March 19, 2021, the CDC updated Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention guidance. Updates to the guidance includes revised physical distancing recommendations, clarified that ventilation is a component of strategies to clean and maintain healthy facilities, removed recommendation for physical barriers, clarified the role of community transmission levels in decision-making, and added guidance on interventions when clusters occur. 

Linn County Case Count Data

  • Active cases: 1,023
  • Total cases to date: 19,703
  • Currently hospitalized: 12
  • Total deaths: 332
  • Total recovered: 18,348

Note: The State of Iowa has transitioned from reporting positive individuals to positive tests. Linn County will continue to report positive individuals. Therefore, numbers from the state and Linn County dashboard will not match. 

Additional data on COVID-19 cases is available on Linn County’s case count dashboard.  

Linn County Metrics 

  • Test Positivity Rate*: 17.5% 
    • *Percent of positive tests to date since beginning of pandemic

Additional Linn County metrics are available on Linn County’s metrics dashboard.

For more COVID-19 information specific to Linn County, visit LinnCounty.org/COVID19.

Know Your Ws wash your hands, wear a face mask, wait six feet apart


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