COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update
(Mason City) – Thursday April 16th, 2020
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by IDPH can be found at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/#CurrentStatus. For Cerro Gordo County data, visit https://cghealth.com/?page_id=3754.
Mason City Transit to Require Cloth Face Masks or Coverings
Beginning on Monday, April 20th, Mason City Transit will require all passengers to wear a face mask or an alternative protective face covering while riding all transportation services or while in the transit station. This includes passengers riding the fixed-route, paratransit, and midnight special. This requirement is effective April 20th until further notice. To learn how to make a cloth face mask and how to properly wear it, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. For more information, contact Mason City Transit at 641-421-3616.
New State Dashboard with County-Level Data
The State of Iowa has released an updated dashboard on https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/#CurrentStatus that will be updated daily with data provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The new dashboard includes the number of cases, deaths, and tests conducted in each county as well as regional medical coordination centers (RMCCs) data summaries, long-term care (LTC) outbreaks, the state’s epidemiological curve, and other demographic information that was not previously provided.
We recognize the public’s interest in wanting to know more about the cases we are seeing locally. Our current data has a limited number of cases for Cerro Gordo County. We are dealing with a balancing act of wanting to inform the public as much as we can while ensuring privacy to the cases. We will continue to evaluate our ability to expand data reporting as appropriate and when case numbers increase. We ask that you turn to the State of Iowa’s coronavirus website to view regional hospitalization data under the RMCC Dashboard. Please note, Cerro Gordo County is in RMCC Region 2. All other Cerro Gordo County specific data can be found at https://cghealth.com/?page_id=3754.
Tips for Those Experiencing a Sense of Loss Due to COVID-19
During yesterday’s press conference, Dr. Brent Seaton discussed the impact a crisis like COVID-19 can have on our daily lives and cause multiple sources of stress. These emotional reactions related to the necessary changes we’ve had to make can lead to frustration, irritation and some of us depression. Some of these feelings we have during a time like this are true feelings of loss. Many of us are undergoing a loss of “normal experiences”, loss of our sense of safety, loss of our social connections, and even some of us are experiencing the loss of our financial security. Dr. Seaton listed some coping mechanisms that can relieve some of the stress that we want to share.
These times are stressful for all of us, and we can all benefit from ensuring that we are doing things that help us ease our way through what comes next. It’s important for those who have depression, anxiety, and/or other psychiatric difficulties to continue to be actively involved in treatment. MercyOne Behavioral Health, Mason City Clinic, and other behavioral health providers in the community have implemented telehealth services to continue behavioral health services during this time of social distancing. You can call us at 641-428-7797 if feel you may need an evaluation. Other questions or concerns can be addressed by calling the MercyOne Family Health Line at 641-428-7777.