LCHD’s Ross says county can’t let its guard down

LEE COUNTY – The Lee County Health Department (LCHD) continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and other state and local partners to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just because Lee County has less cases of COVID-19 compared to other counties in Iowa and many businesses are now re-opening, that doesn’t mean residents should let their guard down and stop protecting themselves and others,” said Michele Ross, LCHD Administrator.

To date, Lee County has had 18 reported confirmed cases of COVID-19. The actual number of cases is likely higher because many people who are infected experience either very mild or no symptoms and may not even know they’re sick and spreading the disease.

All residents should continue to wash their hands frequently, practice the social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, and stay home if they’re sick or have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems remain the most vulnerable to more serious complications of COVID-19 and should stay home as much as possible. Lee County currently has two residents hospitalized with COVID-19 and have had no known reported deaths.

LCHD is often asked to provide additional details on infectious disease cases in Lee County residents.

“Typically, all we can release is the age range of the person. While we appreciate the public wanting to know more details, Iowa Code Chapter 22 prohibits the release of information that could lead to the identification of an individual or a facility/business, said Ross.

“Because we have many small communities in Lee County, disclosing the name of the city or the other details like gender, ethnicity or their employer could lead to their identification. The Iowa Department of Public Health however has the authority to release additional details if they believe releasing those details are in the best interest of the public health.”

Complete numbers for Lee County can be found on Iowa’s Coronavirus website at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/. Once there, go to the “Current Cases” section, click on Lee County, and the reportable numbers will be available. This includes the number of cases, number of completed tests, the number of recovered, etc.

The Lee County Health Department website, www.leecountyhd.org, and their Facebook page will continue to be updated with information related to COVID-19.

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