The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Monroe County Public Health have identified four cases of COVID-19 at Oakwood Specialty Care, a long-term care facility in Monroe County. According to IDPH, an outbreak occurs when three or more cases of COVID-19 are identified among residents of a facility.

The facility has notified residents and their families, and consistent with IDPH guidelines, the affected residents are in isolation. Oakwood Specialty Care staff are working closely with IDPH and Monroe County Public Health to protect the health of all residents and staff, with additional testing of residents and staff as directed by IDPH.

According to a news release from Oakwood, the facility is following CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health infection control guidelines, which include separating positive-testing residents from other residents and utilizing proper PPE throughout the building. The facility is in communication with the Monroe County Health Department and IDPH.

They have also notified staff, residents and family members of the development to keep them informed. Staff will continue to be screened at the beginning and end of their shifts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will continue to monitor residents’ health and well-being. This involves screening residents at least twice a day for symptoms including fever.

“Protecting the health and well being of the residents and staff is of the highest priority,” said Monroe County Public Health Director Kim Hugen. “We know our older population is at the highest risk for serious COVID-19 illness, so we are monitoring the situation carefully and taking the highest precautions to prevent virus spread.”

As of May 11, there are seven total cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County. The Monroe County Health Department continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

The newspaper has independently verified that the first person to be infected with the Coronavirus has recovered and returned to work. Previously the Monroe County Public Health stated one of the seven was in the 41-60 age bracket, three were from 61-80 years of age and three are in the 81+ age range.

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