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Webster County sees 6 more COVID-19 cases

Convenience store closes after employee tests positive

As six more COVID-19 cases were identified in Webster County Monday, a convenience store in Coalville closed after announcing an employee tested positive.

Webster County’s new cases bring the total to 42, a 14% jump from Friday.

The age ranges of the most recent cases were not immediately available as Webster County Public Health continues to contact trace recent cases in a mounting case load.

The first 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases fell into the following age categories:

• Child (age 0-17): 3.

• Adult (age 18-40): 11.

• Middle age adult (age 41-60): 12.

• Older adult (age 61-80): 6.

A total of 23 have recovered, up from 21 Friday. The county death toll remains at one.

Stop N Shop in Coalville closed early Monday afternoon after learning that an employee tested positive, according to social media posts. The convenience store will be closed until Thursday at 5 a.m. for deep cleaning.

“We offered to provide testing to our employees and they have either already been tested or will be tested tomorrow,” said an updated post from the store.

Webster County Public Health defines “close contact” with a COVID-19 patient as being within six feet for a minimum of 15 minutes.

The employee last worked on Wednesday for a “short period of time” before being sent home. They were tested Thursday and received test results Monday, the store said. A manager could not be reached for comment.

Beginning Monday, Webster County Public Health will begin providing twice weekly updates on COVID-19 patient counts, in addition to what is provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health in real-time online.

“We know that Webster County residents value accurate, factual information,” said Kari Prescott, director of WCPH, noting how frequently the data changes and fluctuates.

Patient case files are designated to a county based on the patient’s physical address. Due to the nomadic nature of some residents and their living situations, these cases are at times credited to one county but then subtracted and added to another county.

Some COVID-19 positive cases are known to Webster County Public Health and are being investigated before they are visible in the state’s disease investigation database.

“We want to continue to provide accurate snapshots of Webster County information to residents, and that takes time, as the process of determining these numbers isn’t as simple as it might appear,” she said, noting that the county’s caseload may tick up as increased testing continues.

For a severe spike in cases, Prescott said Webster County Public Health will notify the public immediately.

Statewide, 19,699 people have tested positive since the pandemic began.

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