Officials say ‘make prevention a priority’ with first case of COVID-19 in Woodbury County

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Siouxland District Health Department held a news conference on Sunday morning.

Health officials discussed the first case of the coronavirus in Woodbury County. Watch the replay of the live stream above.

The case is a middle-aged woman between the ages of 41 and 60 and is self-isolating at home, not hospitalized.

She was tested for COVID-19 earlier this week and been isolated since then. Health officials said they don’t know how long she has had the symptoms of the coronavirus.

Tyler Brock, Deputy Director at SDHD, said the possibility of travel is definitely there.

SDHD is asking the community for cooperation of social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and encouraging people to pay attention if you have symptoms of the coronavirus.

Kevin Grieme, Director at SDHD, said stay at home as much as possible and treat the virus with respect and concern, not fear.

Siouxland District Health Department said they’ve been proactively preparing for the likelihood of a positive case in Woodbury County.

Health officials acknowledge that while this is the first confirmed case, it’s not likely the last case, especially as the testing for COVID-19 is increasing.

There’s testing for COVID-19 happening in Woodbury County and looking at four to five business days for the results of those tests.

“We encourage all residents to continue to make prevention a priority,” said Grieme.

These actions include:

  • Practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as possible
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm
  • Staying home when sick
  • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops with an effective cleaner.

Health officials said around 80% of Iowa residents infected with the coronavirus will experience only mild to moderate illness.

Most mildly sick Iowans may not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm that they have the coronavirus.

Iowa residents that are ill must stay home and isolate themselves from the other people in their houses until:

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND
  • Other symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, have improved AND
  • At least seven days have passed since the symptoms first appeared

SDHD said if you think that you may need to visit your healthcare provider, call first.

Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or you can recover at home.

Health officials also said there may be options for you to talk to a medical provider from your home using technology.

For up-to-date information about coronavirus in Iowa, go to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.

In addition, there’s a public hotline that’s available 24/7 by calling 211.

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