Wright County has become the hotspot of Covid-19 cases in north Iowa. Positive tests are increasing at an alarming rate every day.

   “While Wright County Health Department and Iowa Specialty Hospitals continue to be aggressive in testing and identifying vulnerabilities to slow any spread of Covid-19, we are seeing an increase in the number of positives,” said Mickey Cooper of Wright County Public Health.

   On Tuesday, May 18, Wright County had 24 cases of Covid-19. That jumped to 45 on Wednesday, May 19,  to 85 on Friday, May 22, and to 124 by Wednesday, May 27. Many people are asymptomatic, however, and this is a danger to high risk individuals, according to Cooper.

   Officials don't believe that people in Wright County are any sicker than anywhere else. But because Wright County officials are testing everyone in large workplaces, and other counties are not doing this, the numbers for Wright are much higher. 

   Despite this fact, the Belmond-Klemme School Board on May 21 cancelled all summer baseball and softball activities for 2020 out of an abundance of caution.

   Late in the afternoon on Thursday, May 21, Wright County Emergency Management issued a statement. 

   "The Wright County Health Department and Iowa Specialty Hospitals are in the process of doing proactive surveillance testing of employees at the larger businesses in the county. We are now seeing an increase in the number of positives due to this surveillance testing. It should be noted that none of the employees that tested positive in this surveillance showed any symptoms of Covid-19 (all were asymptomatic). A total of 294 tests were taken this past week, with 192 negative results and 52 positive results. Fifty tests are outstanding. Wright County has also seen an increase in positives test results from people outside of the larger employers, and some of these people have shown symptoms of Covid-19. All individuals that test positive, whether they have shown symptoms or not, are being contacted and instructed to isolate. We are also conducting contact tracing,” said Sandy McGrath of Wright County Environmental Health. 

   “Although the state is loosening some restrictions, it is very important that the citizens of Wright County continue to be diligent in practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings as we are seeing an increase in positives at this time.” said Wright County Supervisor Karl Helgevold.

  Earlier in the week, McGrath stated, “We cannot emphasize enough how serious it is to practice the necessary precautions, including wearing face covering, social distancing, and limiting gatherings to ten people or less.”

  Symptoms of Covid-19 include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your health care provider. Do not go to a medical office or emergency room first.

  Citizens are reminded to wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds; keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others; and stay home as much as possible.

Covid-19 Cases - Totals as of May 27

Wright County cases 124

Cerro Gordo Co. cases 22

Franklin County cases 10

Hamilton County cases 28

Hancock County cases 14

Hardin County cases 15

Humboldt Co. cases 15

Kossuth County cases 8

Webster County cases 29

Winnebago County cases 11

Story County cases 95

Muscatine County cases 547

Johnson County cases 605

Dallas County cases 871

Marshall County cases 878

Linn County cases 938

Black Hawk Co. cases 1,713

Woodbury Co. cases 2,658

Polk County cases 3,876

Known Iowa cases 18,360

Known Iowa deaths 491

Death Rate 2.6%

Male Deaths 53%

Female Deaths 47%

Young Adult Deaths 12%

Age 61-80 Deaths 41%

Age 80+ Deaths 47%

  “The public has done a great job of practicing social distancing and proper handwashing, but the wearing of face protection in public hasn’t been put into action as much as it should be,” stated Dr. Michael McLoughlin of Iowa Specialty Hospitals.

   Read the entire story in the Belmond Independent.  Call today and order an on-line or on-paper subscription. Call 641-444-3333.