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From the Desk of Palo Alto County Public Health

Director Sarah Strohman Speaks Out About COVID

By Staff | Nov 19, 2020

The past two weeks have been very busy in our county Public Health office as we have gone from an average of 4-7 new COVID cases a day to now running in the 20’s of new cases a day. As of this writing, we currently have 118 sick people in our county.

As we have seen this significant jump in cases, many things within the healthcare world are being taxed. Staff time and availability is one of them. While our office continues to attempt to reach out to each new case in the county, that task has become insurmountable at times. Please know that you can always call our office if you have questions. Our number is 712-852-5419.

If you have been directly exposed to a positive case, please stay home for 14 days. If you are sick, do not leave your home unless seeking medical treatment.

On Monday, Governor Reynold’s issued a new Proclamation to address the rising numbers across the state and the fact that our state is ranking very high across the nation for new cases. To try to slow the spread, some new mandates have been placed.

Some of the things addressed in this Proclamation are to not put yourself in a high risk situation such as gatherings and celebrations, limiting gatherings to less than 10 people, wearing a mask at all times and the cancellation of sporting events and other extra-curricular activities for those students below 9th grade. It is also now ordered that only two people per participant/athlete can attend high school events and masks must be worn.

While this Proclamation excludes churches, it does include limiting numbers to 10 or less for weddings or funerals. I would also add that church attendance does not go without risk. If you are immune compromised or have been exposed, it is recommended that you do not attend in-person worship at this time. Many of our county’s churches have been offering an online platform for you to be able to participate in worship and I would recommend choosing this less risky attendance option.

Bars and restaurants are ordered to be closed at 10 p.m. No, this is not because, as I’ve heard tell, that COVID can’t spread after 10 p.m. There are many legitimate reasons. One of them being to allow enough time before the next days operations to allow the space to air out and for disinfection/cleaning.

One last note today, if you have not already – Please consider getting a flu shot. While there are concerns that you could get COVID on top of influenza, the bigger concern is further taxing our healthcare resources with preventable influenza illness. Call today to schedule an appointment for your flu shot. If you do not have insurance coverage for vaccines, call us at Public Health. We can help you get a flu shot at no cost. Stay healthy my friends.

Sarah Strohman,

Director, Palo Alto County Public Health