Eighteen Hardin County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday morning, according to the state's coronavirus website.
The county's cumulative case total stood at 120 on Friday morning. On Monday morning it was 138. That is the number of county residents who've tested positive since COVID-19 testing began in Iowa in March. At least 68 of those 138 people have recovered, which means there are 70 Hardin County residents still infected with the disease.
On Monday the state was reporting that 829 Iowans have died of COVID-19. No Hardin County residents are included in that total. Hardin County is one of 28 (out of 99) Iowa counties that have seen no deaths from the disease.
Hospitalization rates have continued to climb. As of Saturday, three Hardin County residents were hospitalized for treatment of the disease. On Monday, 241 Iowans were hospitalized because of COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing continues across the state. In Hardin County, the state reports that 2,342 individuals have been tested. That is about 13.8 percent of the total population.
Last week, Greenbelt Home Care/Hardin County Public Health announced it would no longer provide daily updates on case numbers in the county. Instead, Public Health Coordinator Rocky Reents directed the public to the state's coronavirus website (coronavirus.iowa.gov), which provides real time data on testing, positive cases, deaths and other information.
The change in reporting means ages of new COVID-19 patients are not immediately available, although Reents said she will distribute those reports weekly, on Mondays.
Reents said last week that COVID-19 "is definitely still a concern. And it is definitely still in our community and it probably will be for a long time." She urged the public to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. Those include:
- Staying home if you feel ill
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact (less than six feet of distance) with people who don't live in your household
- Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when around others
- Washing 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.