Twenty Hardin County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.
The new tests, reported Monday by Greenbelt Home Care/Hardin County Public Health, bring the cumulative number of cases to 187 since testing began in March. At least 106 of those people have recovered, which means 81 Hardin County residents are still infected.
In announcing the weekly COVID-19 numbers, Hardin County Public Health Coordinator Rocky Reents released the ages of the 20 new patients:
- Five are age 0-17
- Seven are age 18-40
- Five are age 41-60
- Three are age 61-80
To date, of Hardin County's total cumulative cases, 21 percent have been age 0-17; 43 percent have been 18-40; 23.5 percent have been 41-60 years old; 12 percent have been 61-80; and 0.5 percent - just one person - has been over the age of 80.
As of Tuesday morning, 935 Iowans had died of COVID-19, but there have been no deaths reported among Hardin County residents. Only 23 of Iowa's 99 counties have recorded no deaths from the disease.
According to state data, as of Saturday, just one Hardin County resident was hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.
The state website, which began providing 14-day positivity rates for each county last week, was reporting Tuesday morning that 9 percent of the Hardin County residents who were tested for COVID-19 over the last two weeks have been positive for the disease. The state has released guidelines that state a county must have a 14-day positivity rate of 15 percent or more and a school building must have 10 percent student absenteeism before Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Department of Public Health officials will consider a request to move to remote learning.
An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Boys State Training School in Eldora caused an increase in Hardin County's 14-day positivity rate, but there have been no new cases reported there since July 31 when the Iowa Department of Human Services reported that 13 staff members and 20 students had tested positive.
Public health officials have urged Iowans to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and bars and restaurants face new penalties if they do not follow state guidelines for mitigating its spread. Individuals are advised to take the following precautions:
- Stay home if you feel ill
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact (less than six feet of distance) with people who don't live in your household
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you're instructed to call your health care provider before going into the office. They will walk you through a series of questions and may ask you to report to a testing site. Hansen Family Hospital in Iowa Falls is able to test for COVID-19, but patients should not show up at the hospital. Call the HFH COVID-19 phone number at 641-648-7113 first.
Testing is also available through the state's TestIowa sites and clinics. Complete an online assessment at TestIowa.com and you may be prompted to schedule an appointment at a TestIowa site. The TestIowa sites closest to Hardin County are in Waterloo and Marshalltown.