Local COVID-19 cases nearly double

By: 
Andrew Shaw

Some local businesses and organizations are putting a hold on plans to reopen, due to an uptick in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Winnebago County. The county has seen at least one new case of the illness every other day since June 18, and there were 22 confirmed cases as of Monday, June 29. There were 10 new cases in that 11-day time period.

Some churches that had planned to begin in-person services, including United Methodist Church of Buffalo Center and Ramsey Reformed Church of Titonka, have delayed those plans, and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lakota has suspended services for now.

The Buffalo Center Public Library has delayed opening its doors to patrons, which it had hoped to do on July 1. The library will instead continue to offer curbside pickup of materials by calling ahead to 641-562-2546.

Farmers Trust and Savings Bank decided to close the lobbies at all of their locations once again after having the lobbies open for a couple of weeks. Customers are still welcome to use the drive-thru at the bank, and they can also contact the bank by phone or use online banking services.

The North Iowa High School baseball team briefly suspended its season last week, after some athletes exhibited symptoms that can be caused by COVID-19. The team suspended its games last Thursday and Friday, and the school worked with Winnebago County Public Health to get the athletes tested. Test results came back over the weekend, and while Superintendent Joe Erickson says he can’t disclose the results or the number of tests conducted, Winnebago County Public Health gave the school the all clear to resume baseball games on Monday.

The school is working to reschedule the baseball game that had been scheduled against North Butler last Thursday, but the game that was planned last Friday against Osage will not be made up.

Of the 22 COVID-19 cases identified in Winnebago County, 12 of those patients have recovered, and 10 cases are currently active. Adults ages 18-40 account for 45% of cases in the county, while middle-aged adults ages 41-60 make up 41% of cases. The remaining 14% of positive cases were identified in older adults, ages 61-80.

Julie Sorenson, Administrator at Winnebago County Public Health, says people need to do their due diligence and continue to practice social distancing and take other precautions. She encourages people to wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizer, and wear a mask in public.

“The virus is still there,” said Sorenson. “People are tired of being cooped up, but we still need to take the necessary precautions.”

Anyone with questions related to COVID-19, including businesses and organizations with concerns, may contact Winnebago County Public Health at 641-585-4763. The public health office is directing people who want to be tested to contact MercyOne in Mason City at 641-428-7777, or people can fill out the assessment at www.testiowa.com. The nearest testing site for Test Iowa is located in Mitchell County.

 

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The Buffalo Center Tribune

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