Because community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in other Iowa counties, local officials are assuming the virus is being community spread here as well, local official said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
Although a local shelter in place order was discussed during a telephone conference on COVID-19 with Winneshiek County Emergency Management Director Sean Snyder and Public Health Director Krista Vanden Brink Tuesday afternoon, no shelter in place order is being consider for Decorah at this time, according to City Manager Chad Bird. The agenda for the conference did not allow for any action, he added.
Winneshiek County Public Health officials in partnership with the city of Decorah are taking all steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of city and county residents, the joint press release issued Wednesday afternoon said.
“We urge you to follow these simple steps to help protect you and your family,” the release said.
• STAY home unless truly essential - Shelter in place whenever possible
• Maintain at least six feet physical distance from any person even in line at the grocery store
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Frequent use of hand sanitizer
• Use disinfectant procedures at home and work
•Do not congregate in groups – No more than 10 persons
“Following these simple steps will help ensure the continued safety and protection of not only yourself, but of medical staff, emergency workers, grocery clerks and others who remain on the front lines to ensure the continuation of essential medical, public safety and public works services,” the joint statement said.
“This unprecedented event is taxing the supply of medical equipment and personal protective equipment. No testing kits were initially available for this previously unknown virus. Testing kits have just recently been developed but are in short supply.
“Winneshiek County Emergency Management has taken all steps necessary to procure these needed items as soon as possible. However, these supplies will be prioritized and go to areas of greatest need first.
“In the meantime, as residents, we have the responsibility to protect ourselves by following the recommended steps. This will help save precious resources as we continue to try to slow the spread and not overwhelm the healthcare systems.
“Please do as we have told you to help reduce the spread. We want you to take care of yourself. Be sure to tell your family and friends to help protect them.”
Public Health and the city of Decorah will continue to follow the guidance of the Iowa Department of Public Health and will update the public with changes as they occur.
Public information releases will be accomplished by press releases to radio, newspaper and other public forums, Winneshiek County Public Health website, www.winneshiekhealth.org , City website www.decorahia.org and county/city social media venues.
Direct questions regarding this message to:
• Nancy Sacquitne, Winneshiek County Public Health 563.382.4661
• Wanda Hemesath, City Clerk, Tr. Hemesath@decorahia.org. 563.379.1362 (C)
• 563-382-3651 City Clerk’s Office
The Iowa Department of Public Health is the lead agency for the dissemination of information related to the Coronavirus (COVID19). Winneshiek County Public Health is the local, central point of contact for local efforts.
Iowa Department of Public Health – www.idph.iowa.gov or call IDPH at 2-1-1
Winneshiek County Public Health – www.winneshiekhealth.org 563-382-4662
Please refer to these agencies for specific information and direction regarding COVID19.