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New COVID-19 cases take dramatic uptick in Floyd County

New COVID-19 cases take dramatic uptick in Floyd County
The 14-day rolling total of new COVID-19 cases in Floyd County has taken a dramatic turn upward in recent weeks, as shown in this graph from coronavirus.iowa.gov.
By Bob Steenson, bsteenson@charlescitypress.com

Some churches, businesses and other organizations are starting to again implement more stringent access rules in response to a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Floyd County.

The number of cases has risen at the steepest rate since the pandemic started, more than doubling the previous highest rate of increase.

As of Thursday, the latest figures available on Iowa’s official COVID-19 information website, coronavirus.iowa.gov, show that the number of positive test results for the coronavirus have increased from 470 cases on Oct. 28 to 664 cases two weeks later.

For months the number of people with active COVID-19 cases in the county had mostly stayed between about 25 and 75, as new people became infected at roughly the same rate as others recovered.

On Monday the number of active cases hit 183. That number was 176 on Tuesday and 176 on Wednesday and Thursday.

Significantly, as of Thursday, there were only three intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in Region 2 of the Iowa Medical Coordination Centers, which includes Floyd County and for which the largest regional hospital is MercyOne-North Iowa in Mason City.

The region consists of Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Hardin, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth and Wright counties, and as of Thursday there were 65 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with nine of them in the ICU. Seven of those patients were listed as being on ventilators.

On Wednesday, Trinity United Methodist Church in Charles City announced that it “has shut back down due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the area.” The church said there will be no live worship or other activities until further notice, but that online worship services would continue on YouTube.

Last Friday, the Floyd County Medical Center again ordered no visitors allowed with patients in the clinic, outpatient areas, emergency department or hospital.

“Some exceptions will be made for situations for special patient care needs on a case-by-case basis, including pediatric patients, Birth Center patients and patients receiving end-of-life care,” the medical center said in a statement issued by Administrator Rod Nordeng.

Several businesses in Charles City have announced they will close for various lengths of time because of COVID-19 exposure among employees or for other coronavirus-related reasons.

Iowa has seen a 203% jump in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, and hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise sharply, the New York Times reported.

A White House task force in a report dated Nov. 8, obtained by ABC News Wednesday, called on Iowans to wear masks in public and to avoid gatherings with anyone outside their immediate household until positivity rates fall significantly.

“The unyielding COVID spread across Iowa continues with new hospital admissions, inpatients, and patients in (intensive care) at record levels, indicating deeper spread across the state,” the latest federal report said.

“The most recent trends, showing steep inclines across all indicators, need immediate action including mask requirements to decrease severity in morbidity and mortality among Iowans.”

 

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