COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update
(Mason City) – Thursday, April 9th, 2020
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by IDPH can be found at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus. For more information about COVID-19, please visit CG Public Health’s website at cghealth.com. Follow CG Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@CGPublicHealth).
Cerro Gordo County’s Guidance on “Drive-In” Worship
On April 4th, the Iowa Department of Public Health provided guidance on drive-in worship for churches. Cerro Gordo County organizations and health officials would like to expand on this topic and provide our own guidance. We are recommending that churches do not host a drive-in worship service this Sunday. We encourage churches to carry out services through social media or a web-based video conferencing tool. “This weekend will be the ultimate test of our community’s strength in this fight against COVID-19. We all are tired, and we’re all upset this is our new reality, but we must be strong and do our part by staying home,” says Brian Hanft, Director of CG Public Health.
Mason City Fire Department Opens Secondary Station
To ensure essential services are being provided to the community without interruption, the Mason City Fire Department has established a secondary location for housing staff and equipment. The department operates in an environment where each battalion works 24 hour shifts in close quarters; this temporary physical separation will support our mission to provide quality fire and emergency medical services to our community while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure of our crews. This provides what we feel is an effective approach to the distancing/isolation guidance from county health officials and the CDC. The temporary modification to our housing is not expected to have a negative impact on our emergency responses.
New Guidance for Businesses Experiencing COVID-19 Outbreaks
On April 8th, the Iowa Department of Public Health provided new guidance on preventing, detecting and managing COVID-19 outbreaks for businesses. Outbreaks are defined as greater than 10% of employees ill with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms). IDPH is asking businesses to please report outbreaks by filling out survey when 10% or greater of your employees are reporting COVID-19 symptoms listed above. Report to public health by filling out the survey at this link: https://redcap.idph.state.ia.us/surveys/?s=NRJ4FDMDPN. IDPH provides a useful screening algorithm tool to implement at the entrance of your business to detect COVID-19 symptoms. This algorithm tool and guidance can be found at https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/7/Guidance%20for%20businesses%20COVID%20Outbreak.pdf.