Updated reports from the Iowa State Department of Health's COVID-19 reporting service indicate a total of 432 positive cases of COVID-19 and nine virus-related deaths in Winneshiek County to date. The Oct.19 report showed an area-wide increase in the number of positive cases.

According to Oct. 19 data, of the 432 positive cases in Winneshiek County, 335 listed as "recovered." There have been some hospitalizations in recent weeks, according to a Winneshiek County Public Health spokesperson.

Winneshiek County Public Health Administrator Krista Vanden Brink continued to stress the need for frequent handwashing, social-distancing of at least six feet, and the use of face-coverings to minimize the spread of COVID-19. She also encouraged anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention and to stay home.

"It's hugely critical now," Vanden Brink told Decorah Newspapers, "It takes all of us to do all of it."

In Allamakee County, there have been 326 cases to date, with 242 recovered. Howard County reports 247 positive cases and 175 recoveries. Chickasaw County reports 320 cases and 306 recoveries. Fayette County has 339 cases reported, with 201 recoveries; and Clayton County totals are listed at 350, and 292 cases reported recovered.

Winneshiek County has reported nine deaths attributed to COVID-19. Howard County reports eight deaths attributed to the virus. Allamakee County reports eight deaths,Chickasaw County reports one death, Fayette County reports two deaths, and Clayton County has had three deaths.

Public Health officials have stressed the importance of continued use of masks, frequent hand-washing and social-distancing, especially as cases continue to increase throughout the state. The State Department of Health reports a total for the state of 107,562 positive cases; 82,047 recovered; and 1,532 deaths.

Data is available online at coronavirus.iowa.gov. The public hotline is 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.