Local COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Andrew Shaw

Another 43 positive cases of COVID-19 were identified in Winnebago County the week of September 13-19, as local officials remind people to continue taking precautions and to take quarantine procedures seriously.

Andy Buffington, Winnebago County Emergency Management Coordinator says there have been quite a few cases in recent days, and he said the 14-day positivity rate of those being tested for COVID-19 was 17.04% as of last Thursday.

“Obviously we want that to go in the other direction, but it’s going to take a little time for a number of reasons,” said Buffington. He says he can’t discuss the reasons for the increased spread of illness due to privacy concerns, but he says a lot of people are working hard to keep the numbers down.

As of last week, Buffington said there were 14 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the 12-county Regional Medical Coordination Center that includes Winnebago and Kossuth counties. Of those patients, two were in intensive care, and one was on a ventilator. He notes that despite the high number of new cases locally, the number of people hospitalized with the illness has not seen a large change.

Buffington says mitigation techniques continue to be important, and he encourages people to do things like wear face coverings when social distancing can’t be guaranteed, wash their hands and sanitize frequently, avoid touching their face and mouth, and to stay home when sick. He says this will help to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Julie Sorenson, administrator at Winnebago County Public Health, says people who are quarantined after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19 need to stay in quarantine for 14 days. Even if they get tested for COVID-19 and the test comes back negative, she says those who have been in direct contact with a positive case need to stay quarantined for the full 14 days.

COVID-19 testing remains available by visiting www.testiowa.com or contacting Hancock County Health Services, and MercyOne has begun offering testing in Forest City for people who are symptomatic.



The Buffalo Center Tribune

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