Public Health reports local increase in COVID cases

Board of Supervisors
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     “It’s been a busy couple of days,” prefaced Jones County Public Health Coordinator Jenna Lovaas as she prepared to give her weekly COVID-19 update to the board of supervisors at their July 7 meeting.

     As of the board meeting, Jones County had nine open COVID-19 cases: three probably and six confirmed.

     Supervisor Joe Oswald inquired as to whether people were able to get tested or not because of the Fourth of July holiday. Lovaas said places were still testing despite the holiday, with results back to some by Sunday and Monday.

     “Some tested through their health providers, other used Test Iowa,” she said.

     “Did some have a lot of contact tracing?” asked Oswald.

     “Oh my yes!” Lovaas offered. “People are tired of it and they’re getting out.” She said the long list of contacts is also due to places of employment.

     “Thankfully there’s no deaths,” said Supervisor Ned Rohwedder.

     To date, Jones County has seen a total of 61 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. In addition, there have been 22 probable cases, those who have not been tested, generally described as though to reside in households with someone who has tested positive.

     In terms of symptoms, Lovaas highlighted a variety of indictors:

     • Dizziness

     • Nausea

     • Loss of sense of taste and smell

     • Headaches

     • Fatigue, being really worn out

     “Quite a few start with sinus and congestion and brush it off as allergies,” Lovaas said. “A lot of lost their sense of taste and smell, and being worn out is common among everyone.”

     In a follow-up with Public Health, Lovaas said her office has been receiving a lot of calls particularly from Monticello residents concerning the virus. So JCPH would like to remind people of the public health guidelines.

     “If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 and/or receive a positive test result, you are considered infections from 48 hours before your symptoms started (or 48 hours before your test) until you are released from isolation by public health. We will ask for the names and contact information for all the people you had contact with during that time frame,” stated Lovaas.

     “Close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet of someone who tests positive for 15 minutes or more. If that is the case:

     • Someone from JCPH will be calling you if your name is provided by the person who tests positive.

     • You do need to quarantine at home for 14 days. This means you cannot go to work. Do not socialized with people outside of your household. If you do need to leave your house to go to the grocery store, limit your trips and your time out and wear a facemask.

     • Those wanting to get tested can do so via their primary care provider or by using www.testiowa.com. JCPH suggests waiting until 11 to 13 days after you’ve been exposed to get tested.

     • If you receive a negative test result before the end of your 14-day quarantine period, you still need to finish the 14-day quarantine.

     As always:

     • Stay 6 feet away from people

     • Wear a facemask

     • Don’t go anywhere if you feel sick

     • Wash your hands often

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