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Pottawattamie County announces 10 additional COVID-19 cases; state sets up testing site for long-term care facility staff at Mid-America Center

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Ten Council Bluffs residents are the latest cases of COVID-19 in Pottawattamie County.

Pottawattamie County Public Health announced the cases Monday, with the county's total now at 59. Twenty-five residents have recovered from the disease caused by coronavirus, 31 are isolating at home, one is hospitalized and two have died from COVID-19.

The 10 new cases were tested for COVID-19 between April 29 and May 2, the department said. Four of the individuals are 18 to 40 years old, five are 41 to 60 years old and one is 61 to 80 years old. Five of the individuals have pre-existing conditions. Four of the new cases had contact with an existing COVID-19 case and six are the result of community spread. All ten of these individuals are self-isolating at home.

The county department said the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Iowa National Guard are opening a temporary testing site to test Pottawattamie County long-term care facility staff.

"Long-term care facilities are at a higher risk of COVID-19 outbreaks than other community settings due to the nature of congregate living," county officials said in a release. "In testing long-term care facility staff, IDPH is mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by identifying potential infected staff, and anyone who may have been previously exposed and therefore developed antibodies."

The testing site is at the Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way. Tests at the site will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Tests are given by appointment only and are supported by the long-term care testing strike teams initiative the state is standing up to test nursing home staff, the county department said.

The county noted the testing site is not a TestIowa.com site.

Pottawattamie County Public Health said it continues to conduct contact tracing investigations for each COIVD-19 case. A part of contact tracing is assessing risk to the general public. If there is not a risk to the general public, Public Health will communicate directly with the specific contacts identified in the investigation. If and when a risk to the general public is identified, Public Health will publicly identify the location and communicate any actions the public should take.

"Because we have community spread of COVID-19, individuals should be taking precautions to protect themselves. Stay home as much as possible, limit travel and shopping. If you must leave home, practice social distancing, and stay at least six feet away from others. Wash hands and disinfect frequently touched surfaces multiple times per day. If you are sick, self-isolate at home," county officials said.

Iowans are encouraged to go to TestIowa.com and complete the assessment. TestIowa is an initiative designed to dramatically increase the rate of COVID-19 testing in Iowa.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), contact your healthcare provider before going to the doctor’s office or an emergency room.

Testing criteria is based on guidance from the Iowa Hygienic Lab or private lab guidelines. Pottawattamie County Public Health does not have a role in deciding who gets tested.

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