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Winneshiek County Supervisors get an update on preparations to handle Covid-19 if it arrives

Posted: Mon, Mar 2, 2020 3:13 PM

Winneshiek County Public Health Administrator Krista Vanden Brink Monday morning told county supervisors that her department is ready to handle a case of coronavirus if it happens here.

Vanden Brink told supervisors she had requested meeting with them to "reassure you" her department is prepared.  She says staff members have been participating in a number of on-line conference calls held by the Iowa Department of Health.  She says those training sessions have involved how to handle coronavirus in a number of settings, including schools, colleges, businesses and long term care facilities.

She stressed that Winneshiek County residents can take steps to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19: clean your hands frequently with soap and water; contain germs by staying home when ill; and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow.

Vanden Brink pleaded with the public to stop buying surgical masks, saying "the masks don't do any good" and sales of masks make it hard to get masks to people actually suffering from flu.

She said the coronarovirus outbreak seems to have people worried, although it is similar to other flu outbreaks.  She also stresses there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Iowa.  He reassured supervisors that while a Covid-19 case might be a possibility in Winneshiek County, "we're prepared."