SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – New cases of COVID-19 appear to be declining in Woodbury County, according the public health officials.
Speaking at a press conference Friday afternoon, Siouxland District Health Director Kevin Grieme said the county is on a downward trend, explaining that this past week, only 16 percent people who actually tested positive for the coronavirus. Last week, 23 percent were testing positive.
He also spoke about how the health department identified the following two indicators to use for measurement in making decisions related to what mitigation strategies should be continued. including cases per week and positivity of cases. The two indicators are meant to serve as a guideline to re-opening services while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 resurging.
Even with these downward trends, Grieme acknowledged that it was done under mitigation strategies under Governor Kim Reynolds’ orders. With those strategies being lifted he reiterated that residents continue to follow the CDC guidelines, including washing hands frequently, limiting gathering to 10 or fewer people, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when even mildly ill.
“We expect maybe, if it continues in a downward trend like we’ve been seeing, that’s a potential that says people are still understanding the importance of doing what they can personally. However if we start seeing an increase, its got to be a red flag to the community, we may need to take a look at take a look that says we’re not progressing in the way that we choose to,” Grieme said.
Grieme also said that while he doesn’t know why Governor Reynolds has decided to close the TestIowa site in Woodbury County, he’s not worried about the county’s testing capacity being reduced. Grieme said that Siouxland Community Health has been able to provide a flexible testing capacity as the area calls for it.
Sioux City Fire Rescue Marshall Mark Aesoph also spoke at the press conference, saying the COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to their daily routine and their responses. While their top priority is to provide quality care, he said that they are also trying to maintain the health and safety of their members so as to provide a proper response force.
Anthony Gaul of the Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue said that his department has also had to change the ways they handle calls. He said that when responders approach a situation, they are now only taking parts of their kits rather than the whole thing. This is being done so they don’t always have to decontaminate them.
Watch a replay of the press conference below.