COVID-19

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

An outbreak of COVID-19 has infected 18 residents at a nursing home in Hubbard.

On Monday evening, Iowa’s coronavirus website reported an outbreak of the disease at Hubbard Care Center. It is the first reported outbreak at a Hardin County long term care facility since the novel coronavirus was first detected in the state in March.

Simultaneously with the report of the outbreak, the state’s website also reported that 17 of the 18 infected residents had recovered from the disease. It is unclear when the first Hubbard Care Center resident tested positive. Hardin County Public Health Coordinator Rocky Reents, who confirmed the outbreak, said she didn’t know the date of the first positive test, but there had been an issue with the process of reporting the outbreak to the state. Hubbard Care Center Administrator Angie Kuda-Bruns declined to comment on Wednesday.

CDC guidelines state that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 can resume normal activities 10 days after a positive test, or after symptoms first appeared and after 24 hours with no fever. The Iowa Department of Public Health classifies a person as recovered 28 days after a positive test, unless the state receives updated information about their condition.

According to the Hubbard Care Center website, the facility began allowing outdoor, socially distanced visits between residents and family members in late August. An outdoor visit weekend that had been planned for Sept. 19 and 20 was canceled. As of Oct. 9 the facility was only allowing closed window visits.

The Iowa Department of Public Health classifies a long term care outbreak as at least three residents at a single facility testing positive for the disease. In June, Scenic Living Communities in Iowa Falls reported that four of its employees, as well as two Ashbrook Assisted Living residents had tested positive for COVID-19. That was not considered an outbreak because the state doesn’t classify assisted living facilities as long term care.

Hardin County Public Health began releasing ZIP code maps of COVID-19 infections with its weekly COVID-19 reports last month. Since Sept. 14, the maps have reported an increase of just four cases in the Hubbard ZIP code, from 15 on Sept. 14, to 19 on Oct. 9.

Hardin County has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent days. In the week between Oct. 5 and 12, the county added 45 new COVID-19 cases. And between Monday, Oct. 12 and Wednesday, the state’s website reported another 10 new cases. Ellsworth Community College said Monday that 19 of its students tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Provost Dr. Martin Reimer said 40 students were in quarantine. It's not know how many of those students were included in the 45 new cases since Oct. 5.

As of Wednesday morning, the state's coronavirus website was reporting a total of 384 COVID-19 cases in Hardin County since testing began in March. Of those, 290 are classified as recovered. There have been four COVID-related deaths - the most recent was reported on Monday. That leaves 90 Hardin County residents currently infected with the disease. Three residents were hospitalized as of Monday. 

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