September 20, 2021

County’s covid cases keep rising

Union County Public Health Director Zach Woods informed the Union County Board of Supervisors Monday the continuing increase of COVID cases in the county.

Last week, an additional 42 cases were recorded. The county’s positivity rate was 16.1%, which includes all tests taken during the week. The week prior, there were 25 new case and the positivity rate was 9.5.

“Our numbers are going up,” Woods said. “The positives are skewing younger than what we’ve seen before.”

Supervisor Rick Friday asked how many of the 42 cases have been vaccinated. Woods did not know the number. Woods said 80 percent of the state’s hospitalizations with COVID are not vaccinated. Another 90 percent of state cases in ICU are not vaccinated. Typically, having COVID while vaccinated does not have as severe symptoms.

With students back in school, and less mitigation than a year go, it’s not unforeseen, Woods said about county cases. He emphasized people get vaccinated.

Union County is one of 20 counties in Iowa still contacting those with a positive cases to inform them on how to live with the infection.

“It’s really important we do that,” Woods said.

Since the pandemic started, Union County has had 37 COVID-related deaths.

With fall approaching, Woods said flu shots are expected to be available the end of September.

“If we have a bad flu season, you could see things could hit at the wrong time and a overload in health care and a lot of stress on those systems,” Woods said.

Woods encouraged people to get flu shots as early as possible.

Woods said those who have severe to moderate health compromises, they are encouraged to receive a booster shot of COVID vaccine. He expects more on that to be released by federal health officials later this month.

He said public health’s new office at 801 Wyoming Ave. is open.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.