OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM MAHASKA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH
APRIL 20, 2020
The Iowa Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard is a powerful tool to help Iowans understand the state of COVID-19 in their county and region. The COVID-19 Dashboard can be found online at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov.
The State of Iowa has divided the state into regions for the purposes of assessment and coordination. Mahaska County is part of Regional Medical Coordination Centers (RMCC) Region 1 – one of six total regions in the state. Region 1 consists of 25 counties including Mahaska’s neighboring counties of Poweshiek, Marion, Jasper, and Monroe, as well as Polk, Marshall, and Tama.
The Current Status tab on the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard allows viewers to see information on cases by county including:
• Total Confirmed Cases in County Residents
• Total Deaths of County Residents
• Total People Tested by County of Residence
• Total Confirmed Cases Recovered by County of Residence
It is important when viewing this information to understand how it is gathered and reported.
How is case information attributed?
All case information is reported based on patients’ county of residency, not the location of testing, subsequent treatment, or death. This means that confirmed positive cases for a county may include people tested or treated outside of their county of residence. For instance, a patient who was tested and hospitalized in County A would only be reported in that county if they also lived there. On the same token, a death reported for a county denotes that a resident of that county has passed away, not that the death occurred within the county.
What happens when someone test positive for COVID-19?
Mahaska County Public Health professionals provide ongoing disease investigation and follow up for a variety of communicable diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis, and most recently COVID-19. With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mahaska County Public Health receives reports on county resident tested in various facilities and counties. Local Public Health staff contact each positive case and complete disease investigation and contact tracing. Information gathered includes:
• Risk Factors (exposure to a confirmed case, travel history, existing health issues)
• Contacts, including people living in their household and anyone who has symptoms of disease
Public Health will continue to check in with positive cases throughout their recovery. To be considered “recovered,” patients must meet ALL of the following criteria:
• Fever free for at least 72 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
• Significant improvement in symptoms (ex: cough or shortness of breath have improved)
• At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Information on recovered cases is reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Figuresand reflected in the IDPH COVID-19 Dashboard.
Mahaska County Public Health encourages the community to visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website to stay informed about the current status of COVID-19 and how to best protect yourself and family during the outbreak.
For more information about local public health topics, follow Mahaska County Public Health on Facebook @MahaskaPublicHealth.