Sioux Center Health responds to rising COVID cases by issuing mask mandate

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KCAU) — COVID-19 case numbers have jumped recently at Sioux Center Health as officials make changes to fight the outbreak.

The cases quadrupled from 11 in July to 44 in August. In response, the hospital implemented a mask mandate and offers vaccine clinics three times a week as opposed to one.

Cory Nelson, CEO of Sioux Center Health, said while various factors contribute to the COVID-19 numbers, the county’s low vaccine rates concern him the most.

“A lot of people who don’t have protection against the virus and specifically the delta strain are now in a situation where they’re potentially exposed more and can transmit that a lot easier,” Nelson said.

While Nelson said he hopes the mask mandate and extra vaccine clinics help alleviate the problem, he said Sioux County’s low vaccine rate could be problematic.

“With a low vaccination rate, it is much easier for the virus to continue to transmit through the community,” Nelson said.

Only 35 percent of Sioux County is vaccinated. Nelson said he’s worried about the low vaccine rate among kids 12 to 15-year-olds as school gets underway.

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