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From the Desk of Public Health

By Staff | Apr 1, 2021

Greetings to you, Palo Alto County,

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

Our COVID numbers/positivity rate has risen some since last week. As I write this on Monday, March 29, we are up from 4% to 7%, with 19 positive cases. We averaged only seven positive cases last week. It continues to be very important to practice measures to keep yourself healthy by wearing your mask, staying home when ill or exposed and getting a vaccine when one is available to you.

We have received many questions regarding whether we will be getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or not. At this point, I have not had any indication from Iowa Department of Public Health that we will be receiving any of this brand soon. However, that can change at any time. We continue to receive 100 doses of Moderna for first doses and 100 doses for boost doses each week.

Another question we frequently receive is regarding timing of vaccine after having a COVID illness. CDC continues to report that it is safe to receive the vaccine 14 days after onset of the illness. Most people are being advised by their medical provider to wait closer to 90 days after the onset of the illness. If you have had COVID, it is understood that you will have some natural immunity/protection for several months. Waiting the 90 days allows your body time to heal from the illness, knowing that you will likely have side effects from the vaccine.

Vaccination continues to be one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from this illness. We have seen and heard many reports that people are nervous about receiving the vaccine or simply do not want to because it was rushed, or they do not think they are at high enough risk from this illness. The reality is that this illness does not pick and choose who it attacks strongest. We have seen many mild cases in patients and others that have become severely ill with many long-lasting, potentially lifelong side effects. The best way to protect yourselves and your loved ones is to get vaccinated.

Upcoming clinics for vaccine are as follows:

Ruthven Community Center

Date: Thursday, April 8

Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Appointment slots: 100 available

Who is eligible:

• Group 1: Healthcare employees, people requiring in-home care and their care providers, those 65 and older, those working in ag or manufacturing that are working or living in congregate settings, those who are between 18-64 with high risk medical conditions.

• Group 2: anyone in group 1 and also general public ages 18+

When to call:

• Group 1: Monday, April 5 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

• Group 2: Tuesday, April 6 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, April 7 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Numbers to call: 852-5422, 852-5518 or 852-5512

VFW Emmetsburg

Date: Tuesday, April 13

Time: 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Appointment slots: 100 available

Who is eligible: ANYONE ages 18 and older

When to call: Friday, April 9 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m and Monday, April 12 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Numbers to call: 852-5422, 852-5518 or 852-5512

For questions, please contact Public Health.

Stay healthy!

Sarah Strohman RN

Director, Public Health