WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – More than 3 days, Black Hawk County saw an increase of 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 62.
Officials believe this is the first sign of an outbreak of positive cases that are expected to continue.
“Welcome to the ‘suck’. It’s starting to go wrong, “said Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson, using military jargon to describe the challenge the county is facing. Thompson noted that within a week, the number of confirmed cases had increased by 50.
“There is no doubt that a wave of cases is occurring in Black Hawk County,” said Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, director of the Black Hawk County public health department.
“With every positive result we know, I would put money into 5, 6, 7 that we don’t know are positive,” said Dr. Sharon Duclos of the People’s Clinic.
Dr. Egbuonye agreed, saying that nationwide, some people don’t even have symptoms, in the medical world, they are labeled as asymptomatic.
“Now is not the time to relax our mitigation efforts, we need all of you to do it,” said Dr. Egbuonye.
Or the state nor does the county appear to follow Iowans who may have symptoms but do not meet the test criteria. They reiterated that no matter if a person is tested, the treatment for COVID-19 is the same. The tests are still limited, so they test the people most at risk for complications.
“Because we want to preserve the ability to retrieve these tests quickly so that we can preserve our PPE because we will need them in the future,” said Dr. Russell Adams, chief medical officer of Allen Hospital.
Personal protective equipment remains a critical need for healthcare workers. Black Hawk County continues to receive PPE shipments from state inventory, although Thompson noted that he was nervous that the supply would last indefinitely.
“All I hear from the state is that they are dangerously low, because we know that everyone burns with PPE, no matter how many people they deal with.” Sheriff Thompson said.
Dr. Addams noted that UnityPoint Health was asking to participate in an effort to see if antibodies in the plasma of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 could be used to treat patients.
There has also been a lot of discussion regarding companies.
Sheriff Thompson and Dr. Egbuonye said they are checking with essential companies to see if improvements are needed. So far, Thompson says they haven’t had to write quotes.
Black Hawk County will hold another press conference on Thursday, April 15 at 3:30 p.m.
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