By Kate Klimesh,
Winneshiek County Public Health Director Krista Vanden Brink, shared an update on the COVID cases for the region during the Nov. 15 Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
With the ongoing pandemic, she noted that due to some milder symptoms presented in this recent spike of COVID positives, diagnosing and quarantining those with COVID was becoming more difficult. During the month of October Public Health was aware of 164 positive cases of COVID-19 and as of Nov. 15, they were aware of 120 cases.
“Many of the positive cases are unvaccinated people however, some are vaccinated, and their immunity has waned,” reported Vanden Brink. As a references, the Iowa COVID-19 positive cases lists 82 positive tests for Winneshiek County in August at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/. She stated that it may be too soon for some of the vaccinated people to receive a booster shot and some that are vaccinated are not quite eligible yet per CDC recommendations for booster vaccinations.
She added, “We have started to administer pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations. Individuals can receive their COVID vaccinations at several locations: clinics, pharmacies and public health. We encourage people to call for appointments.”
Vanden Brink reported that Public Health is finding many people are having symptoms of a cold—such as a runny nose or nasal congestion. They are continuing to go to work and school because they believe it’s a cold or allergies. She noted that the past weeks have been very windy and as farmers do their fieldwork, dust has been created and it was understandable why someone would believe it’s a cold or allergies.
“Many are losing their taste and smell several days later and then realizing that it’s most likely COVID,” she stated.
Winneshiek County Public Health recognizes the beginning of cold and flu season and offers opportunities to prevent colds and flu as well as COVID-19.
Vanden Brink reiterated, “Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently. Keep coughs and sneezes covered. Get a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccinations. Stay home when you’re sick. Increase general cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces at work and home.”
Those highest at risk for COVID-19 complications, and anyone hoping to minimize their risk of infection, should follow CDC recommendations for at least 6 feet of social distancing, mask wearing when around others, frequent hand sanitation and vaccination against COVID-19.