When a new virus like coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) emerges on the public health scene, there are many questions. It is normal to be concerned about COVID-19, which has caused so much illness and death in China. Public health officials take every disease outbreak seriously and Clarke County Public Health has been working closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about COVID-19 and its risk to Iowans.

In a time of uncertainty, social media becomes a platform for rumors and misinformation. “We are aware of misinformation about COVD-19 both locally, across Iowa and nationally,” said Clarke County Public Health Director Mackenzie Nelson, RN. “It’s important for Clarke County residents to rely on trusted sources of information like the CDC, IDPH and our public health agency.”

IDPH updates its COVID-19 website every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with current data on Iowans being monitored or tested for the virus, and what the test results are. The website is also updated immediately with new information as necessary.

Right now, the most important thing for Clarke County residents to do is to continue the prevention measures they would use for any respiratory virus.

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or upper arm.
  • Contain germs by staying home when ill.

For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus.

Clarke County Hospital and Clinic are taking measures to keep all patients, visitors, and staff healthy. If you are scheduling an appointment or coming in for an appointment Hospital staff will be asking additional questions and requesting anyone with contagious symptoms to wear a mask during their visit.