County to vote on new COVID personnel rules

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – With Lee County listed as one of the 90 counties in Iowa listed as a “high transmission” county by the Centers for Disease Control, Lee County Supervisors are considering more defined language for employees who come in contact with the virus.

According to numbers released on Wednesday, the county is at an 8% positivity rate over the previous seven days, with a vaccination rate still under 40%.

At Monday’s Lee County Supervisors board meeting, supervisors will vote on an addendum to the county’s COVID 19 protocols.

The county has determined, at this time, they will not require employees to be vaccinated, however officials are “strongly encouraging” employees to receive the vaccine when available if they are able.

The county will not require a fully vaccinated employee to stay home and quarantine if they have remained asymptomatic since being exposed and they test 3 to 5 days after exposure. If the employee reports test results to county HR staff and the results are negative they may remain at work. However, a positive test result will require the employee to follow the normal return to work protocols under the current pandemic policy.

Any vaccinated person who is exposed and doesn’t test will have to remain at home pursuant to current county plans.

Fully vaccinated employees who have been exposed should still watch for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.

County employees are also paid for time taken off work to get vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that due to the high transmission rate of the Delta variant, even fully vaccinated people where masks when in indoor settings.

On Thursday, state hospitals reported more than 200 patients in beds compared to just 150 last week and more than quadruple the lowest previous mark of 46 in June.

Des Moines County reported a 7-day positivity rating of 14% on Wednesday, the fifth highest rating in the state.

In other action, supervisors will be considering a purpose statement from the committee over seeing fund allocation from the $6.5 million the county will receive from the American Rescue Plan, as well a approving voting members of the committee.

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