June 20, 2021

COVID-19 numbers reach 2%

Union County COVID-19 numbers continue to be low with a 14-day positivity rate of 5.4% and a seven-day rate of 2% according to public health nurse Robin Sevier who spoke to Union County Supervisors during their weekly meeting Monday at the Union County Courthouse.

However, of the positive tests that are coming out of Union County, 59% are now in the 17-and-under age range, Emergency Management Director Jo Anne Duckworth said.

There have now been 1,254 positive cases in Union County, but there have been no new COVID-related deaths in Union County to add to the total of 31 deaths.

In the surrounding counties, Clarke has the highest 14-day percentage with 13% and Adams has the lowest with no new cases in the past seven days, Duckworth said.

According to the Iowa coronavirus site, the state has a 14-day rate of 4.3% and a seven-day rate of 4.2%.

Vaccine

The public health department has administered 1,653 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday morning.

Sevier said some of those who received the vaccine may have been from outside the county, but it is balanced by those in the county who have received their vaccine elsewhere.

“We are not to discriminate by county of residence,” she said.

The Union County waiting list for vaccines for those over age 65 has more than 1,000 patients remaining. Sevier said she hopes the weekly 200 doses being received will be increased in March or it will take more than a month to clear the list and move to the next phase.

Those who have had COVID-19 may still get the vaccine, Sevier said, as the immunity period has not been firmly established.

The school personnel in Union County have been receiving their vaccinations, with approximately 50 staff members left at Creston schools who are still waiting.

“The (staff in) other schools in the county have at least received their first dose — of those that wanted it,” Sevier said.

Those who have received the first dose of the vaccine do not have to return to the same clinic to get the second dose. Sevier said the only restriction is that they get the second one from the same manufacturer. She said the county has been told they will receive adequate supply to administer the second dose.

Sevier reported that Hy-Vee had received a limited amount of the vaccine and said those doses come from the remaining doses distributed by the national pharmaceutical after the long-term care facilities were taken care of.

Sevier said there have not been reports of adverse reactions to the vaccine in Union County. Some patients have reported arm soreness and not feeling “well,” but that is to be expected after any vaccine shot. She recommends and ice pack for soreness and that those who receive the vaccine continue to use the affected arm to combat the stiffness.

The Union County Board of Supervisors meets weekly 9 a.m. Monday at the Union County Courthouse, 300 N. Pine St. The supervisors are still meeting in person at this time, but the public is encouraged to submit comments for public forum by mail, email or telephone to help limit the gathering to 10 participants.

REGINA SMITH

Reporter, columnist, teacher, children's book author, book store owner - Regina Smith has a wide range of experience in writing and education. She combines those interests and experiences to cover city and county government and human interest stories as well as writing a biweekly column in her home town of Creston, Iowa.