Clay County patient tests positive for COVID-19

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed a Clay County resident tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus-19).

The individual is an adult female in the age range of 18 to 40 and is a resident of Clay County. She is recovering at home in isolation.

“With community spread of COVID-19 first confirmed in Iowa mid-March, we anticipated it was a matter of time before one or more cases would be confirmed in Northwest Iowa,” commented Dr. Amanda Young, Spencer Hospital medical staff president. “While this may be Clay County’s first case, it may not be the last. And that’s why it’s critical to make prevention a priority – stay home if you are ill and everyone needs to practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Though testing for COVID-19 is still limited, Dr. David Keith, Clay County Public Health medical director, said that if symptomatic, area citizens who are symptomatic should follow the CDC guidelines for self-isolation.

“With or without the test confirming infection of COVID-19, the care remains the same. There is no vaccine or antibiotic to treat COVID-19,” Dr. Keith said. “For anyone with mild symptoms, stay home and isolate yourself as best as you can from others in your household. Treat symptoms with over-the-counter cough medicines and fever reducers such as Tylenol, but do not use anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen) as they have been demonstrated to worsen the symptoms of COVID-19. If your symptoms become severe – meaning that you are having difficulty breathing, contact the clinic to be seen or, if necessary, the Spencer Hospital emergency department.”

Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house. Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

at least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Treatment and prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention include:

Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.

Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people with the virus limit contact with animals until more is known.

Cover your cough or sneeze: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; thoroughly wash your hands.

Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Do not share: Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

Clean and disinfect: Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

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