Sioux County COVID-19 positivity rate continues to grow

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Sioux County sits at a 30 percent positivity rate for COVID tests, it's a rising number that is alarming to schools and those living in the area.

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KCAU) –A staggering COVID-19 statistic from Sioux County. It owns the highest percentage of positive cases in Iowa.

Sioux County sits at a 30% positivity rate for COVID tests. It’s a rising number that is alarming to schools and those living in the area.

“As of last week, we didn’t have cases in our student body and so yes, this week we have seen an increase, I think, in Sioux County in general, there has also been some community spread that is going on and COVID-19 cases in Sioux County itself,” said Sarah Moss, the Director of Marketing and Communication at Dordt University.

As cases continue to grow across Sioux County, students at Dordt University hope they’ll be able to remain on campus.

“I was really hoping we would be able to have class in person, yeah, it’s been a blessing having to do online the last like a quarter of our senior year, it just helps to come back and be with people especially,” said Erica Nikkel and Adrie Fransman, students at Dordt university.

Classes will remain in person at Dordt for now, with the university remaining at their yellow learning plan.

“Being quite cautious and we are taking precautions, so we are limiting the number of people who are attending events on our campus and we also have closed other entities such as our rec center, our campus store, and the library to the public,” said Moss.

“We certainly did anticipate having an increase in these numbers when you bring in almost 3,000 students into the university and college here at Dordt and Northwestern coming from across the country,” said Cory Nelson, the CEO of Sioux Center Health.

While the rate for positive tests is growing in Sioux Center, the CEO of Sioux Center Health says hospitalizations remain low.

“Always be a little careful with the numbers what you see out there, you know again here in this part of the state we have been doing mostly the testing have been on individuals who do have symptoms, so you are going to get a higher positivity rate when you are testing individuals with symptoms versus just doing mass community testing of everybody,” said Nelson.

Moss says as the number of cases in the county and university changes. They will continue to assess how to best teach their students safely.

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