A Hardin County resident tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the local case count to 12. The new case was announced by the Iowa Department of Public Health when its case map was updated on Saturday morning. The person is between the ages of 18 and 40.
On Thursday last week, the case count for Hardin County was reduced from 12 to 11 when the state corrected the mistaken address of a person who'd tested positive on May 6.
As of May 1, Greenbelt Home Care/Hardin County Public Health is no longer handling the investigation of new COVID-19 cases in the county. Instead, the agency has handed COVID-19 case investigation duties over to the state. Greenbelt Public Health Coordinator Rocky Reents said they made the decision because investigating and tracking the health of the people who've tested positive was becoming more work than the small agency could handle.
Because of the change, Greenbelt Home Care doesn't have access to as much information about each patient, and it doesn't know of new cases until the Iowa Department of Public Health updates its numbers each day.
The first local case of COVID-19 (Eldora business owner and pastor Justin Weber) was announced on March 26. Weber and one other local COVID-19 patient (who has not been identified) are still hospitalized. Seven Hardin County COVID-19 patients are now classified as "recovered." A total of 389 Hardin County residents have been tested for COVID-19. That's about 2.3 percent of the county's 16,868 residents.
As of Monday, statewide, 14,955 Iowans have tested positive for COVID-19, and 355 have died.
The Iowa Department of Public Health's coronavirus website includes county level data about the number of people tested, the number of positive tests, deaths and recovered COVID-19 cases. It also includes a breakdown of the age of the patients who've tested positive, as well as their sex, race and ethnicity.
Of the 12 Hardin County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, six are age 18 to 40; four are age 41 to 60; and two are age 61 to 80.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever (100.4 or greater) and shortness of breath. 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. Hansen Family Hospital is not a Test Iowa site (part of a statewide rollout of testing that's connected to an online assessment tool at TestIowa.com). The public should not show up at the site and expect to be tested for COVID-19.
Find more information about COVID-19 in Iowa on the state's coronavirus website, or on the Greenbelt Home Care/Hardin County Public Health Facebook page.