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Winneshiek County Public Health says it's prepared for the coronavirus

Posted: Sun, Mar 1, 2020 3:48 PM

Winneshiek County Public Health Department staffers say the public can take some precautions now for the coronavirus known as COVID-19. To date, no one in Iowa has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Since the start of this outbreak, Winneshiek County Public Health has worked closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to monitor potential cases of COVID-19," said Winneshiek County Public Health Administrator Krista Vanden Brink.  "We have and will continue to work with our local, state and national partners to be ready in case the virus does come to Iowa.  It is normal to be concerned about a new virus.  It is also important to remember that the risk of influenza is much greater than the risk of COVID-19 in Iowa right now."

Here are some steps Winneshiek County residents can take to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:

    Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
    Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
    Contain germs by staying home when ill

Prepare for the potential of COVID-19 in the same way you would prepare for severe weather or other events.  That includes making a plan and discussing it with your family. What would you do if you could not go to work or school because of illness? What if your day care provider was ill? How would you get groceries if you were ill? These are all questions to consider now.

Symptoms of the COVID-19 in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus.