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Fri
27
Mar

Allamakee County experiences first COVID-19 death; Public Health stresses prevention measures

Allamakee County Public Health (Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care) has currently been notified of a total of 7 positive cases of COVID 19 in Allamakee County. Unfortunately we have received notice of a death of one our 7 cases. This case is a male between the ages of 61-80 years of age. 3 cases have already recovered and have been released from isolation and 3 are recovering at home under isolation. We do expect to see more positive cases in the coming days.

Allamakee County Public Health and our other area health partners can not stress enough the importance of STAYING HOME. This does slow the spread. Staying home does not mean you can’t go for a walk or be outside as long as you maintain social distancing. 6 feet physical distancing is about the length of a twin bed.

Wed
25
Mar

Their own special treatment during current pandemic ...

Staff at Gundersen Health System Medical and Eye Clinic in Waukon received their own special dose of treatment when they arrived to work Monday morning, March 22 as they were greeted by some special messages chalked on to the clinic’s entrance sidewalk over the weekend. A pair of elementary-age cousins, Braelyn Zuercher and Mila Mathis of Waukon, provided the messages, making the most of getting out of the house during a time when their schools are closed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak to write and draw colorful messages with sidewalk chalk that included such sentiments as “Doctors and nurses are superheroes!” and “Thank you, have a good day,” along with smiley faces, hearts and other drawings and short messages of appreciation and thoughtfulness in an effort to brighten the day of some of the local healthcare providers who find themselves on the frontlines of the current battle against COVID-19.

Wed
25
Mar

Allamakee County now reported as having six confirmed COVID-19 cases

Local health officials advising individuals to follow prevention guidelines and to stay at home unless absolutely necessary

by Lissa Blake

Those who don’t want to be the next person diagnosed with the coronavirus should stay home, self-isolate and wash their hands.

That was the message from Veterans Memorial Hospital Administrator Mike Myers Friday afternoon, March 20 following the diagnosis of the third person testing positive for COVID-19 in Allamakee County. Since then, however, three more county residents have been reported as testing positive, bringing the county’s total to six as of Monday, March 22, adding to the current (Monday) total of 105 positive cases in Iowa affecting more than two dozen counties.

Wed
25
Mar

Allamakee County Emergency Management shares information sources, local effort perspective

Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker shared the following information and perspective concerning local efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak:

Hi, and I hope everyone is doing well as we deal with the coronavirus known as COVID-19. I wanted to let everyone know that Allamakee County Emergency Management and Allamakee County Public Health are working together and have been able to also include other agencies and organizations within the county, as well as working with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Iowa’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  We are also working with city and county government, our county emergency responders, long term care facilities and the hospital.

Wed
25
Mar

School districts in Allamakee County join others in facing unprecedented times during pandemic

by Lissa Blake

In these unprecedented times of pandemic outbreak, schools in Allamakee County are trying to do their part until life returns to normal.

“I’d love to see students back to school in the near future, but that’s not likely to happen,” said Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Superintendent Jay Mathis. Mathis is among a group of about 30 superintendents who consistently meet via videoconference to discuss what measures each district is taking during this time of forced closure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We just sent out a notice last week that Prom has been canceled,” said Mathis of the event originally scheduled for April 25 at Waukon High School.

Mathis added while graduation is still set for Sunday, May 17, he wouldn’t be surprised if school closures will be extended, forcing additional cancellations of such activities. “We sure hope we can get the students back and have graduation,” he said.

Wed
25
Mar

All visitors to Veterans Memorial Hospital are now being restricted

Call VMH to request testing for COVID-19, for Urgent Care visits and special visiting arrangements

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon has been restricting all visitors to the hospital within this past week.  The restrictions are in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

In the event of a special circumstance, such as a terminal patient, family members may call Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411 and speak with the charge nurse about the situation.

Anyone with flu-like symptoms that is requesting to be tested for COVID-19 must meet all criteria to qualify for a test. Initial screenings will be performed over the phone by calling the hospital at 563-568-3411 and asking for the COVID-19 phone line.

Wed
18
Mar

Allamakee County reported as having two confirmed cases of COVID-19

Schools across Iowa closed for four weeks, many events canceled or postponed; Health officials offer guidance

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Allamakee County Public Health have reported Allamakee County’s first cases of COVID-19.

“This investigation has identified two cases of COVID-19 with known international travel exposure,” the joint health departments shared in a jointly-released statement. “One individual is a middle-aged adult between 41-60 years; the other is a child, age 0-18 years. This is not indicative of community circulation of the virus here in Allamakee County. It remains critical that all residents continue to take preventive measures.”

Those preventive measures to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 infection include:

Wed
18
Mar

Allamakee County offers guidance for those who may want testing for COVID-19

Do not arrive unannounced at healthcare facilities

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) provided additional guidance to health officials across the state concerning testing for COVID-19 infection, emphasizing that any testing for the virus must be done by the person’s health care provider and that those seeking testing must not go unannounced to their doctor’s office or hospital.

“Individuals need to direct requests to their health care providers for testing of COVID-19 infection,” said Mike Myers, Administrator at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. “Anyone who believes they may need to be tested for COVID-19 should call their health care provider to ask about testing and be prepared to provide details about their symptoms. Do not show up unannounced at a local health facility, as that can spread the virus.”

Wed
18
Mar

Allamakee County Emergency Management advises following guidance of CDC on community events

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies.

These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

Wed
18
Mar

Waukon City Councilman John Ellingson, Mayor Pat Stone offer explanations for decisions made regarding St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for Sunday, March 15 in Waukon ended up resulting in much more than its usual show of Irish spirit. Just over an hour before the parade was scheduled to begin, the Waukon City Council met in an emergency session that took some time to arrange due to open meetings quorum requirements and made the unanimous decision to revoke the parade permit based on recommendations for large gatherings made by the Iowa Governor’s Office and the Iowa Department of Public Health following the announcement late Saturday evening, March 14 that the first case had been reported in Iowa of COVID-19 due to community spread - meaning not knowing the origin and not attributable to travel as were the previous 17 cases in Iowa.

Waukon City Councilman John Ellingson provided the following statement in regard to the Waukon City Council’s actions in respect to revoking the parade permit:

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