A COVID-19 patient who had been identified as a Hardin County resident last week is, in fact, a Marshall County resident. The correction, made Thursday by the Iowa Department of Public Health, reduces the county COVID-19 case count to 11.
The change in case count appeared Thursday when the state's coronavirus website was updated. Rocky Reents, public health coordinator at Greenbelt Home Care/Hardin County Public Health, said the case was announced on Thursday, May 7 after testing positive on May 6. The person is in the 61-80-year-old range.
Greenbelt Home Care (namely, public health nurse Rachel Loyd) had been investigating every local COVID-19 case - speaking with the patient about where they'd been and who'd they'd been in contact with - and following up with every non-hospitalized patient to chart their health. Greenbelt stopped doing those inspections on May 1, choosing to hand that duty over to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
"We're not a larger health department and we don't have one individual doing this all the time," Reents said on May 1. "Rachel and a couple of other employees have been trained on it, but we're also seeing patients all day long. A lot of the larger health departments have an individual who can do this full-time."
As a result of handing over those duties to the state, local public health officials don't have as much information about each case. Instead, the public (and local public health officials) should check with the Iowa Department of Public Health and its dedicated coronavirus website for the latest COVID-19 data.
As of Thursday morning, 354 Hardin County residents had been tested for COVID-19. That's 2 percent of the county's 16,868 residents.
Of the 11 Hardin County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, five are age 18 to 40; four are age 41 to 60; and two are age 61 to 80.