LCHD sends out plea as county COVID surges

County 14-day positivity rate is closing in on 19%; Hancock County Sheriff closes office, SEISC puts mask requirement in place


LEE COUNTY – The 14- day average positivity rate in Lee County has now reached 18.8%. We are nearing substantial community spread meaning the risks for spread of COVID-19 in every community is high as 1 out of every 25 people are testing positive in Lee County. To date we have had 1,364 total cases with 14 reported deaths due to COVID-19 complications and 768 cases reported as recovered according to Iowa Department of Public Health.

“LCHD strongly advises and pleads to the public that everyone should do their part and wear a mask if they can when in public places, and socially distance by at least six feet apart from others whenever possible. We must all work together to turn this around” said Michele Ross, Lee County Health Department Administrator.

Other public health interventions include washing hands frequently,
disinfecting common touch surfaces and avoiding crowds of people or gatherings where social distancing is not feasible or occurring. LCHD encourages all community members and visitors to be responsible and stay home when you should be in quarantine or isolation.
Now is a good time to remind everyone what CDC recommended quarantine and isolation guidance includes:
Quarantine: If someone has been exposed to an individual who tests positive (CDC definition includes someone who has been within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more or a household contact) that person should quarantine at home away from others for 14 days and self-monitor daily for symptoms. If no symptoms arise during the 14-day, the individual may resume normal activities. If that person becomes symptomatic anytime during the 14 days, they should self-isolate away from others for 10 full
days from the day their symptoms started, AND, they must be fever free for 24 hours, AND, their symptoms must improve before returning to normal activities.
Isolation: If an individual has symptoms of COVID-19, consider getting tested and please stay home, away from others, while waiting for test results. If a person has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests
positive for COVID-19, the individual should stay home in self-isolation for at least 10 full days from symptom onset, AND, the person must be fever free for 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications, AND, symptoms have improved.
Because of our recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Lee County, LCHD recommends ALL businesses, schools, faith-based or community organizations, and worksites to review and update their
COVID-19 mitigation plans.

“Consider what you can do to help mitigate further spread of this virus and help promote public health recommendations to reduce community transmission in our county” Ross said.

Please access CDC resources at the following link: for more information.
LCHD also wants to remind everyone that public health recommendations provided by the CDC have continuously been updated to accommodate new scientific evidence, evolving epidemiology, and the need to simplify risk assessment. New recommendations are based on:
• Growing evidence of transmission risk from infected people without symptoms (asymptomatic) or before the onset of recognized symptoms (pre-symptomatic);
• Increased community transmission in many parts of the country;
• A need to communicate effectively to the general public;
• Continued focus on reducing transmission through social distancing and other personal prevention strategies.
For updated public health recommendations please access:

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger announced Monday that the sheriff’s office will be closed until Thursday due to possible COVID exposures, and all meetings of the department had been cancelled for the week.

The Southeast Iowa Superconference also sent out notice on Monday that all winter sports are mask required for any person not on the floor or the mat, including cheerleaders, players, coaches, staff, and fans.

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