COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update

Data Snapshot

14,995 total lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa (05/17/2020).
17 total lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cerro Gordo (05/17/2020).
Age Ranges of lab-confirmed cases: (18-40) = 3 cases, (41-60) = 6 cases, (61-80) = 6 cases
355 deaths in Iowa
0 deaths in Cerro Gordo
2,572 COVID-19 tests administered at the mobile testing unit (05/17/2020).
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by Iowa Department of Public Health can be found at For Cerro Gordo County data, visit

Long-term Care and Assisted Living Facilities Begin Surveillance Testing for COVID-19

As of May 17th, 2020, 36 COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred at long-term care (LTC) centers throughout Iowa. Recognizing this vulnerability, north Iowa will be welcoming strike teams from the Governor’s office and assistance from MercyOne staff to complete surveillance testing in all LTC and assisted living facilities. Surveillance testing is a strategy used to gain a better understanding of the number of COVID-19 cases in a specific population, location and point of time through in hopes to stop the virus from spreading more.

LTC centers have been working closely with the Cerro Gordo County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and CG Public Health since the beginning of the pandemic. The LTC facilities have focused on response planning, and how to prevent and detect outbreaks in their facilities. A part of this planning has been some physical engineering of the buildings themselves, including as HVAC reconstruction, isolation wings and negative pressure rooms establishment.

“The long-term care centers have been doing a great job and are working under very stressful circumstances, considering the population they serve is the one being the most severely impacted by this virus,” said Karen Crimmings, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Manager at CG Public Health.

If you have questions, please call 641-421-9345. For data on Iowa Long-term care outbreaks, visit

Q & A Webinar with Senator Chuck Grassley This Tuesday

This week Senator Chuck Grassley will join the North Iowa Strong webinar series via Zoom at 2:30PM on Tuesday May 19. Grassley will be providing an update from Washington and answering questions from participants. Please submit any questions you have for Sen. Grassley when you register, or email them to [email protected] Registration is limited to the first 100 participants. The meeting will be recorded and shared online following the call. To register, visit

North Iowa Farmer’s Market Opens This Tuesday With Modifications

The North Iowa Farmers Market (NIFM) will open as planned on Tuesday, May 19th. The Market will be open 4:00pm-6:00pm and held in the parking lot on the corner of 1st Street NE & Delaware Avenue in Mason City (just south of the First Congregational Church).

“We are required to make modifications in response to COVID-19. To limit contact between customers and vendors we’ve been asked to only allow farm products at this time. This will allow us to provide more space so customers can maintain the recommend 6 ft. social distancing. All of our special events have been suspended until further notice,” said Andrea Evelsizer.

Vendors will be modifying their booth displays to minimize contact with customers and step up hand and surface sanitation procedures.

We ask you to consider the following when attending the market:

If you feel sick, stay home.
The market will provide hand sanitizer – please use as you enter the market.
Follow the directional arrows, which will be marked on the parking lot to help control the flow of customers and minimize interactions.
If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask please bring one from home.
Please don’t touch products that you don’t intend to purchase.
If you bring bags, the vendors have been instructed not to touch them, so be prepared to bag your own items.
Be understanding if vendors need to take time to sanitize their table or change gloves. They are working hard to keep you safe. They have also been asked to minimize staff at their booths; be aware that checkout times may take longer than usual.

For more information on this announcement, visit For the FAQ’s for farmer’s markets, visit

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