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Pottawattamie County at 18 COVID-19 deaths, Risen Son reports additional staff case; bottle redemption can resume Sunday

Pottawattamie County at 18 COVID-19 deaths, Risen Son reports additional staff case; bottle redemption can resume Sunday


A woman exits the Mid-America Center after being tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

There have been 18 COVID-19 deaths in Pottawattamie County.

Matt Wyant with Pottawattamie County Public Health clarified the total on Friday, noting a death at Risen Son Christian Village had recently been added to the total at the state level, clearing up confusion from Thursday.

There have been six deaths at Risen Son amid an outbreak at the long-term care facility.

On Friday, Ray Dickison, chief operating officer and leader of a COVID-19 task force for Risen Son parent company Christian Horizons, said the number of residents with COVID-19 remains at 21. He said four have recovered.

An additional staff member has tested positive, putting the total at 16, with 10 recovered.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Pottawattamie County neared 1,000 on Friday afternoon -- there were 99 listed around 2:30 p.m., an increase of 25 from roughly 24 hours earlier, according to

The website reported 13,100 tests in the county, for a 7.6% positive rate. The state listed 731 recoveries.

Reynolds extends restaurant rules, bottle redemption can resume Sunday

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation Friday extending an order that bars and restaurants require patrons to remain at least 6 feet apart to limit spread of the coronavirus.

The proclamation does not extend the suspension of the requirement for retailers to accept empty bottles and cans for redemption of the container deposit — mean redemptions at area stores will resume on July 26. The head of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association lamented the move.

“IGIA has concerns about accepting containers for redemption inside stores where there is not adequate space, separation and machines to handle them,” Iowa Grocery Industry Association President Michelle Hurd said in a release.

The association said retailers around the state are "extremely concerned" about how to deal with these containers and the sanitation challenges they pose.

“A number of our retail members feel the situation is not right for them to begin accepting containers at this time,” says Hurd. “Accepting containers inside our stores while we are still dealing with the risks associated with COVID-19 presents an increased risk to the health and safety of our employees and customers.”

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association asked consumers "to consider taking their containers to a redemption center or to a location that has a redemption room separate from the store."

The governor's proclamation also extends other requirements, including that bars and restaurants patrons each have seats at a table or bar and that operators maintain “increased hygiene practices." In addition, the governor's order extends existing rules for fitness centers, casinos, senior citizen centers and other businesses.

Reynolds this week encouraged residents to wear masks in public but has declined to issue requirements that people wear masks. She also has said local officials don't have the authority to institute mask orders.

The state COVID-19 website listed 41,137 cases Friday afternoon, up from 40,634 the day before. The site listed three new deaths, for a total of 821, along with 29,204 recoveries.

Hospitalizations for the virus were slightly down, to 230 from 232 on Thursday. That included 72 who were being treated in intensive care units. Iowa reached a peak of 417 COVID-19 hospitalizations on May 6.

Available space and equipment to treat new patients in the state's hospitals remained steady, with 39% of the state’s hospital beds available and 79% of its nearly 800 ventilators available on Friday.

That included 180 beds and 60 ventilators available in Regional Medical Coordination Center region four — which includes Pottawattamie, Mills, Harrison, Cass, Crawford, Shelby, Fremont, Montgomery, Page, Adams, Audubon and Taylor Counties. There were five patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and four in intensive care on Friday.

Information about COVID-19

Symptoms in people who have been exposed to coronavirus can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Most people experience mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks.

Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the use of masks when out in public. Make sure it covers the mouth and nose. Face shields are an option as well, as they cover the eyes.

Public health officials recommend:

Stay home as much as possible.

  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Call your physician if symptoms appear.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 testing is available in Pottawattamie County via two TestIowa locations: All Care Health Center, 902 S. Sixth St., and Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Ave.

To get tested, residents must complete the online assessment at to schedule an appointment.

For those struggling with mental health during the pandemic, has several resources, including a hotline at 855-581-8111 and a text-friendly line at 855-895-8398.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has a COVID-19 screening app — 1-Check COVID.

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