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COVID-19 Status Update

Posted on: February 19, 2021

Linn County COVID-19 Status Update

LINN COUNTY COVID-19 STATUS UPDATE

February 19, 2021

Positive COVID-19 – The GOOD Kind!

For the first time since March 2020, there are no long-term care facilities or group homes in Linn County experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. 

Effective February 19, Linn County Public Health is recommending a move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 mitigation strategies. These recommendations are based on the following data points related to recent trends in COVID-19 cases, hospital bed capacity, hospital admissions, and test positivity rate. 

  • Over the past 7-days Linn County has averaged approximately 25 cases per day, a decline from an average of 70 cases on 2/4.
  • A statistically significant decrease in the age-adjusted incidence over the past two weeks, declining from an incidence of 207 cases per 100,000 population to 112 cases per 100,000 population over this period.
  • Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have significantly decreased.
  • Inpatient bed availability is currently at 44.2%.
  • The test positivity rate by week is at 6.7%, with a rolling 14-day average of 5.6%.

Mental Health Resources 

The daily stress caused by COVID-19, social distancing, the August 10 derecho, and a resulting financial crisis have had a big impact on our community. It is normal to experience feelings of isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty in this abnormal situation. Additionally, the events of the last year have only intensified feelings among those living with poor mental health or a mental illness. Prioritizing your mental health and staying connected to your family, friends, and community is more important than ever. Linn County Public Health has recently added links to informational videos from Foundation 2 on how to access their resources. The links can be found at: https://www.linncounty.org/1458/Mental-Health-Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

Phase 1B  

Linn County Tier 1, Group 2 populations continue to be offered vaccine. 

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. 

Through the end of February, Linn County plans to receive about 3,000 doses of vaccine per week. Linn County Public Health will continue to ensure an equal balance of vaccine is 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

  • Heritage Area Agency on Aging announced they are able to assist with connecting older adults to vaccine providers and transportation services. Older adults in Iowa wanting to contact their Area Agency on Aging for assistance should call 1-866-468-7887.
  • For information on vaccine appointment options for persons 65 and older, visit: https://www.linncounty.org/1514/Adults-65 

Tiers 1-5

  • Due to the limited supply of vaccine, vaccine will be prioritized to identified groups within Tier 1.  
  • Eligible individuals in Tier 1 will be notified of how to make an appointment through their employer. Tier 1 agencies and organizations will be asked to prioritize vaccine within their organization. 
  • Eligibility criteria for Phase 1B Tier 2 is in development, and will be released once finalized.  
  • For more information on vaccine for identified populations for Tiers 1-5, visit: https://www.linncounty.org/1517/COVID-19-Vaccine-Phase-1B 

 Vaccine Distribution Highlights

  • Current Phase:Phase 1B, Tier 1
  • Projected time to next phase: Unknown 

  • Populations included within Phase 1B: 

    • Persons 65 years and older
    • Prioritized frontline workers and specific populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness
  • Progress within Phase 1B:

    • Beginning January 26, Linn County began offering vaccine to persons 65 years of age and older. There are 36,000 people 65 and older in Linn County. 
    • Beginning February 1, Tier 1 populations were eligible to be vaccinated. There are approximately 11,000 people in Tier 1, Groups 1-5. 
      • Beginning February 11, Tier 1, Group 2 populations began receiving vaccinations. 
      • Tier 1, Group 3 will begin to be offered vaccine the week of February 22 
    • Vaccine will continue to be offered to Phase 1A and Phase 1B, Tier 1, Group 2 populations as they are identified and request vaccine. Those populations should complete the employer vaccine form to request vaccination. 
  • Groups to be offered vaccine next: 

    • Phase 1B, Tier 2
      • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings that are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, which may be a family member
      • Frontline essential workers in food, agricultural, distribution, and manufacturing sectors who work in or live in congregates settings that do not allow for social distancing 
    • The Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council has recommended priority populations for Phase 1C, which include individuals 65 years of age and older and individuals 64 years of age and younger with underlying medical conditionsthat are or may be an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 
      • IDAC had recommended on January 11 for Phase 1B to include Iowans age 75 and older, and other Iowans who are vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19 or high-risk for illness as the result of a COVID-19 infection. 
      • Governor Reynolds announced on January 21 individuals 65 years of age and older would be eligible in Phase 1B. 
  • Projected time to next phase: Unknown

Businesses

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. 

  • Employers who have employees in Phase 1B should complete the form now, if they have not done so already. Phase 1A populations that have not yet received vaccine can still complete the form. 
  • Those that have already completed the form do not need to do so again.
  • It is best to access the form in Chrome. 
  • We recommend filling out the comments section with exactly what you do, where you go, and what patient contact you have (if any). This helps LCPH place you accordingly for vaccine.
  • Complete the form here, or direct link is: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/891d3217630c46cebd1b5db8bba47b8a?portalUrl=https://lcgis.linncounty.org/portal

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. Tools available include letter templates, flyers and posters, fact sheets, presentation templates, and social media posts. 

Vaccine FAQs

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.

 Linn County Case Count Data 

  • Active cases: 1,727
  • Total cases to date: 19,217
  • Currently hospitalized: 18
  • Total deaths: 320
  • Total recovered: 17,170

Additional data on COVID-19 cases is available on Linn County’s case count dashboard.  

Linn County Metrics 

  • Test Positivity Rate*: 17.9%
  • *Percent of positive tests to date since beginning of pandemic

  • 7-Day Test Positivity Rate: 4.2%
  • 14-Day Test Positivity Rate: 5.6%
  • Current Recommendation for Actions to Combat Increase in COVID-19: Tier 3, effective February 19, 2021. 

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.


Know Your Ws wash your hands, wear a face mask, wait six feet apart


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