Symptoms in people who have been exposed to coronavirus can include fever, cough and shortness of breath and other symptoms, 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 and a proclamation from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds requires the use of masks in public when in contact with someone for 15 or more minutes. Make sure the mask covers the mouth and nose. Face shields are an option as well.
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.
• Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
COVID-19 testing is available in Pottawattamie County via two TestIowa locations: All Care Health Center, 902 S. Sixth St., and the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency, 3236 Nebraska Ave. To get tested, residents must complete the online assessment at testiowa.com to schedule an appointment. Testing is free.
Additionally, residents can contact their local physician to set up a test.
For those struggling with mental health during the pandemic, yourlifeiowa.org has several resources, including a hotline at 855-581-8111 and a text-friendly line at 855-895-8398.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is currently being distributed to health care workers and first responders in Pottawattamie County, with long-term care facility residents and staff scheduled to begin receiving vaccinations this week. The vaccine is expected to reach the general population in the early months of 2021.