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Wright County awaiting COVID-19 test results

CLARION — The Wright County Department of Public Health is continuing to conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing of the employees of the county’s largest businesses.

No new positive COVID-19 test results were added to the county’s case count on Wednesday, with the number staying at 124.

Wright County Supervisor and county Public Information Officer Karl Helgevold expects that number of positives will increase again in the coming days.

“Over the last two days, we’ve got about 150 tests out right now and we’re going to continue testing tomorrow and through the end of the week and probably into next week,” he said.

Of the positive results the county has received so far, the county Health Department is still monitoring 107 of them. The age breakdown of those 107 cases are as follows:

Ages 0-17: one.

Ages 18-40: 78.

Ages 41-60: 26.

Ages 61-80: two.

Ages 80 and above: none.

As of Wednesday, 18 Wright County cases have recovered. There have been no deaths in the county due to COVID-19 and currently there is no one hospitalized in Wright County for COVID-19, Helgevold said.

Helgevold credits the county’s strong relationship with its businesses and employers for the success of the surveillance testing efforts over these last two weeks.

“We’ve developed with our employers a good rapport over the years, even going back five years ago with the avian flu with some of the chicken industries here,” he said. “We just need to find out if it’s out there and what our exposure is. If we have the availability of the kits, why wouldn’t we do testing to see what’s there and limit exposure for people in the future.”

Helgevold said the county would rather be proactive than reactive with the novel coronavirus and that this surveillance testing is the best step to help its citizens.

“We’ve got a great team with Iowa Specialty Hospital and public health, the employers out there and the supervisors all working together,” he said. “We’re all on the same page.”

In a press conference with Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday morning. Wright County Public Health nurse and epidemiologist Sandy McGrath said she wants to continue routine surveillance “until we have a better solution to COVID-19.”

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