SCOTT COUNTY, Iowa (KWQC) – Health care officials say a COVID-19 test performed in Scott County came out positive, but because the patient is not from the county, it’s not being counted as a Scott County case.
“As we hear more about positive cases in Iowa, we’re learning that positive COVID-19 cases are being reported according to the county of residence of the patient and not the county where the patient is tested,” Scott County Health Department Director Ed Rivers said during an audio briefing by the QC COVID-19 Coalition.
He said the positive case was reported out by the Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday. He could not say whether the person was visiting, working or traveling through the area at the time.
“We recognize these uncertain times are stressful and can cause anxiety, so we encourage all of us to stay calm and listen to the facts to help reduce your fears,” Rivers said. “Keep up to date on important information when needed by using trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa and Illinois State Departments of Health.”
He added, “Focus on what you can do to be prepared, including be informed and taking efforts to control what you can, like washing your hands and other prevention strategies. When you feel you need additional assistance in managing your stress and anxiety please reach out for help.”
Just before Wednesday’s briefing, Unity Point Health President and CEO Robert Erickson said in a media release that “we have been preparing for this moment and the moments to follow.”
“The fact that there is now a positive test for COVID-19 performed in this region is not a surprise, given the global pandemic and potential spread of this virus,” he said. “With that said, it’s imperative that we all work together and support each other to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. UnityPoint Health has had longstanding plans for management of infectious diseases, and we’ve enhanced those plans for this situation.
We are also continuously monitoring and implementing the latest guidance provided by the World Health Organization, the CDC and our state and local health departments. We have been operating our incident command center both at a regional and system level and feel confident in our approach.”
Rock Island County Health Department Administrator Nita Ludwig said the health department has authorized 36 tests for the coronavirus. Thirteen of the tests came back negative, while the rest are still pending.
“I would like to stress that while testing is important, I really would like to see people focus on the slowing of the spread of the disease, the social distancing measures, and the clean, cover and contain,” she said. “When we do have positive results, we will share those.”
On Sunday, Governor Reynolds issued a recommendation for Iowa schools to close for four weeks.
On Tuesday, she declared a state of public health disaster emergency and ordered the closing of restaurants and bars, fitness centers, theaters and other performance venues, casinos, and social community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made similar >proclamations.
Ludwig said the department’s environment health staff has been out in the community and they have said all the businesses that they have been by and through have complied with the Pritzker’s proclamation.
Rivers said it is his understanding that Bettendorf police may have spoken with some bar owners Tuesday and explained that they were not allowed to have patrons inside.
“But the great majority of facilities are complying,” he said.
Read the full statement from Erickson:
“I would like to start off by saying clearly to our community – that we have been preparing for this moment and the moments to follow. The fact that there is now a positive test for COVID-19 performed in this region is not a surprise, given the global pandemic and potential spread of this virus. With that said, it’s imperative that we all work together and support each other to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
UnityPoint Health has had longstanding plans for management of infectious diseases, and we’ve enhanced those plans for this situation. We are also continuously monitoring and implementing the latest guidance provided by the World Health Organization, the CDC and our state and local health departments. We have been operating our incident command center both at a regional and system level and feel confident in our approach.
We are also proud to be part of the Quad Cities COVID-19 coalition which is a group of our regional health, business, government and emergency management officials who are working every day to assess the situation and provide recommendations locally on how to minimize the risk for community spread.
For anyone in the community who is ill and needs to seek medical care, we ask that you please call ahead to your primary care provider or other point of care to let them know ahead of time that you have signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We have testing supplies and will follow the guidance of the health departments to determine if testing is recommended. We are restricting visitors to our hospitals and limiting entrance points to help protect the people we’re caring for, especially the most vulnerable.
What we need now is the help of our community to ensure our healthcare resources will allow us to continue providing a very high level of care. You can help to reduce and potentially prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following some simple recommendations:
Stay home if you’re sick
Avoid community gatherings
Wash your hands
Be respectful of others, especially the most vulnerable
Most importantly, now is the time to stay calm. Be informed. Be kind to one another and respect the health needs of our community. If we all do this together, we can help make a difference for everyone.
If you have further questions, there are some great resources you can call. You may call the Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or in Iowa, you may call 1-800-362-2736 or 2-1-1 with your questions.”