Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country and locally, Linn County has closed most buildings to the public to help reduce community spread of the virus and to help ensure continuity of County services.
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Linn County Public Health held a virtual media briefing on February 8 to provide updates on Linn County COVID-19 response and Phase 1B vaccination efforts. Watch the video or read the news release.
Iowa activated the Retail Pharmacy Program this week. In Linn County, select Hy-Vee locations and Clark’s Pharmacy are participating pharmacies. Limited vaccines are available in select locations to persons 65 years of age and older. Do not call or walk-in to pharmacies to request vaccine. Appointments are required, and are expected to fill quickly. Please visit the Hy-Vee and Clark’s Pharmacy websites for information on how to schedule an appointment.
Within the past week, Heritage Area Agency on Aging announced they are able to assist with connecting older adults to vaccine providers and transportation services. Older adults wanting to contact their Area Agency on Aging in Iowa should call 1-866-468-7887. Additionally, Linn County LIFTS announced transportation assistance is available to Linn County residents with scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Rides are available from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Saturday. County residents with scheduled and confirmed vaccination appointments can contact LIFTS by phone at 319-892-5170 or by e-mail at email@example.com between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to request next-day transportation.
At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Linn County began offering vaccine to Tier 1, Group 2 populations this week. It will take several weeks to offer vaccine to the entire Group 2 population.
Vaccine remains in short supply, and not everyone in Phase 1B will be able to get vaccine right away. It may take weeks to months for the Phase 1B populations to receive vaccine.
For the week of February 15, LCPH will allocate 60% of county vaccine to the Tier 1 population and 40% to persons 65 and older. This is an effort to ensure balance of vaccine available in Linn County to persons 65 and older, prioritized frontline workers, and specific populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness. Vaccine is available within Linn County to persons 65 and older through the Retail Pharmacy Program.
Persons 65 years and older
For more information on vaccine for identified populations for Tiers 1-5, visit: https://www.linncounty.org/1517/COVID-19-Vaccine-Phase-1B
Linn County Public Health (LCPH) is compiling information from employers to help link employers and their staff to agencies administering the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available. LCPH has developed an employer vaccine form for employers interested in offering COVID-19 vaccine to their employees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released COVID-19 vaccination communication toolkits for Essential Workers and Community Based Organizations. These toolkits can be used by organizations to help plan for and encourage COVID-19 in the workplace and within the community.
For questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County:
Please sign up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 Status Updates to keep up-to-date on vaccine rollout updates and other important information regarding COVID-19 response. For assistance with signing up for updates, view this video. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 vaccine website LinnCounty.org/Vaccine, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097. Stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information.
Mask Mandates are still in effect in Linn County. Scientific studies have shown that wearing a face mask reduces the spread of the coronavirus.
Spring break is around the corner. As you consider your spring break plans, keep in mind the following recommendations and requirements for traveling:
This weekend is Valentine’s Day. Follow CDC’s tips for a Safer Valentine’s Day.
As more people receive their COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC has updated close contact guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated.
Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Additional data on COVID-19 cases is available on Linn County’s case count dashboard.
Additional Linn County metrics are available on Linn County’s metrics dashboard.
For more COVID-19 information specific to Linn County, visit LinnCounty.org/COVID19.