LCHD officials see spikes in COVID following holidays

Administrator urges residents to continue health safety measures while celebrating the 4th of July

BY PCC STAFF

LEE COUNTY – Lee County Health Department (LCHD) continues to work with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on COVID-19 cases in Lee County. With the 4th of July weekend upon us, LCHD wants to remind residents to continue to practice social distancing.
“The 4th of July normally means family and friends gathering however this year might look different,” states Michele Ross, LCHD Administrator. “We want Lee County residents to remain vigilant when it comes to COVID-19, and remember that we continue to have active cases of the virus in the county. Right now, it is very important to continue with recommended public health safety practices in order to keep our case numbers from surging as we currently see happening in other states.”
In June, Lee County reported 20 additional positive cases of the virus as testing is ramped up around the state. Des Moines County had 18 positives for the same month.
As of June 30, according to the state’s coronavirus website at coronavirus.iowa.gov, 1 of every 14 Iowans has now been tested on average, with 1 in every 466 tests coming back positive. In Lee County, 1,856 residents have been tested with 49 positives, for a 2.6% positive rate.
The highest positive rate age groups in the county are 18-40 and 41-60 which each represent 33% of the total positive cases. 61-80 is 24% and over 80 is 8%.
Lee County has seen two deaths related to the disease. Des Moines and Henry counties have each seen three deaths. Jefferson and Van Buren counties have not reported a death related to the virus.
LCHD has been monitoring COVID-19 case count data since the beginning of this public health crisis. The data shows us that typically case counts have increased about 14 days out from past holiday weekends like Mother’s Day, Easter, and Memorial Day. This 4th of July holiday, LCHD is encouraging all residents to continue practicing preventive measures to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 illness.
These public health recommendations include:
• Maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance apart from others when outside your own household;
• Wearing a face covering when out in public especially when social distancing is not easy to maintain;
• Staying home when ill or have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have had a known exposure to someone with the virus;
• Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm;
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
• Disinfecting common touch surfaces;
• Calling your medical provider first if you need medical care and notify them of your symptoms.
Consider limiting activities outside your home if you are older or have a health condition that could affect how well your body would respond if infected with this virus.
The LCHD website (www.leecountyhd.org) and Facebook continue to be updated with guidance related to COVID-19.

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