LCHD says county now at “Moderate” transmission risk

IDPH and Lee County identify 26 new coronavirus cases over the weekend

LEE COUNTY – The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Lee County Health Department have identified 26 new COVID-19 cases in the county since last Friday’s update.

Please be advised the COVID-19 community transmission risk has increased to a moderate level according to the 14-day positivity rate average metric which as of today is at 9.7%. In prior weeks the county was averaging 5% or less which was at low to minimal risk. This means the risks for COVID-19 exposure and illness is increasing in our county. The 14-day positivity rate is based off the number of people being tested in Lee County in the last 14 day period.

“This virus spreading in our communities is serious and remains highly contagious. More individuals are likely to become ill in the coming weeks while plans are currently being developed to return our kids to school. As public health, we are calling upon all community members, including all elected officials, community and business leaders, and worksites to work together in helping to protect each other and reduce community spread in Lee County” said Michele Ross, Administrator of LCHD.

“Please take appropriate measures to maintain a social distance from others when outside your own household, choose to wear a face mask to protect others, and encourage and practice frequent hand washing. Teach and reinforce the importance of hand washing with our youth.”

It is also important to continue cleaning and disinfecting common touch surfaces and areas where people share space. An exposure can occur when you have been within six feet of a known positive case for more than 15 consecutive minutes. This is important to remember, especially if a LCHD case investigator were to call to inform someone they have been exposed to a positive case.

“Our team members have been working non-stop on contact tracing, and to reach those who have been possibly exposed,” Ross said. “If you get a call please be open and honest with where you have been and who you have been in close contact with.”

LCHD also stresses that now is a good time for the public, especially businesses and employers, to review recommended mitigation strategies for reducing spread of COVID-19 which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html.

Lee County Board of Health and LCHD continues to recommend cancelling of large-scale events where crowds of people will gather. Risks to the community’s health are too substantial when social distancing requirements cannot be met.

LCHD strongly encourages people to avoid large crowds of people where social distancing is not ensured.

As our school districts are working on their return to learn plans, we encourage ALL individuals in Lee County to help reduce spread of COVID-19 and calm this virus. Please be kind and respectful to others during these stressful times and support community mitigation strategies that everyone has a responsibility in.

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