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 Mahaska 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 Mahaska County Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy. “It’s important for Mahaska County residents to rely on trusted sources of information like the CDC, IDPH and our public health department here at the hospital.”

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 Mahaska 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