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More of your COVID-19 questions answered

Posted: Tue, Nov 17, 2020 4:05 PM

As you might imagine, our e-mail inbox has been filled lately with COVID-19 questions.  We can't get to all of them--sorry!--but we're trying to answer the most frequently-asked questions.  Here are the latest:

"How do you learn about which businesses or organizations have COVID outbreaks?" 
Actually, we don't always get the information.  Businesses that have COVID positive employees do not need to release information to the public about COVID cases.  There are times when local businesses or organizations have COVID outbreaks and contact us with the information--but there are other times when we get a "no comment!"  

"The instructions for getting a COVID test through Test Iowa tell you to go online to fill out an application--but what if you don't have a computer?"
Test Iowa can also be telephoned at (515) 575-2131 or (844) 844-1561.

Joe e-mails: "Dear Mr. Answer Person, The number of Covid-19 related deaths in this area seems to be low and not increasing compared to other parts of Iowa.  Are Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse and St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester doing such a great job of treating all Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Howard patients with the Covid-19 disease that nobody is dying from it?"

It's been true that  many of the people in NE Iowa who have gotten COVID haven't needed hospitalization.  But that doesn't mean it's no big deal if you get COVID-19.  People of all ages have died from the disease, while others who have survived are still suffering effects. 

27 people have died from COVID-19 from Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee County, so I'm not sure that qualifies as "nobody" or "low" death rates. In fact, the COVID statistics are always reported on the basis of per 100,000 people.  Since the three counties you mention have a combined population of only 42,836 people, that means the death rate for the combined three counties is 63 people per 100,000 population.