Kossuth County Develops Two New COVID-19 Cases

With the Iowa Department of Public Health confirming two additional positive cases of COVID-19 Kossuth County since Sunday, May 17, 2020, Kossuth County Emergency Management is asking residents and businesses not to let the guard down and take necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
To get Iowa’s economy going, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new State Public Health Emergency Declaration to allow some non-essential businesses to reopen. That includes restaurants, fitness centers, malls and retail centers, salons and barbershops, campgrounds and racetracks, social and fraternal clubs, libraries, drive-in theaters, medical spas and massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities and tattoo parlors.
Bob Jennings, Public Information Director for Kossuth County Emergency Management, said Governor Reynolds is encouraging vulnerable Iowans to continue to limit activities outside the home, including visits to business and other establishments, and the participation of gatherings for any size or purpose.
“That includes Iowans with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65,” said Jennings. “With warmer temperatures, we are all going stir crazy practicing self-distancing and staying at home, but now is not the time to throw common sense out the window. If you go out, try to stay six feet or more from people near you, and limit the number of people at a gathering to ten or less. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm or a tissue to avoid the spread of COVID-19.”
The two positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Kossuth County are within the age group of 18 to 40. Jennings also said that while many want to know the names of those who test positive for the novel coronavirus, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, Kossuth County officials can only release necessary information. Under the HIPAA law, names. addresses, dates directly related to an individual, such as birthdays, admission/discharge dates from health facilities, death dates, and exact ages of individuals are considered confidential.
While residents may be anxious and want to know as much information as they can get, they need to ask themselves if they were diagnosed with a health condition, would they want their name and address released to the public?
“Most of us would say no to that question, and we need to respect the privacy of those individuals who tested positive for the virus.”

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