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1 at the Beacon tests positive for COVID

Fire Department reports two other cases

One person has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Beacon of Hope men’s homeless shelter, according to its executive director, Steve Roe.

Roe reported the positive test on Wednesday. The shelter, 1021 First Ave. N., will be locked down until further notice.

He said the person who tested positive is experiencing symptoms and has been isolated.

Usually about 20 men stay at the shelter.

Webster County Public Health is anticipated to conduct mass testing at the shelter today.

The Second Chance Thrift Store, which supports the men’s shelter, will remain open for the time being, Roe said. The thrift store is an entirely separate building from the shelter.

Meanwhile, the city of Fort Dodge provided a COVID update in regards to positive cases within the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

According to the city, since the announcement of the first positive COVID-19 test result on June 16, the Fire Department has had three more positive cases among its ranks. Of the four total positives, two have recovered. The other two are quarantined. None of the cases can be tied to each other.

The Fire Department has protocols, personal protective equipment and decontamination processes in place to limit or prevent the spread of infection between patients and fire personnel.

Fire personnel follow these protocols during all treatment and interaction with residents.

“We remain committed to safely serving the citizens of Fort Dodge and Webster County,” said Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter. “Due to health privacy rights, the city is unable to provide any information about the identities of the affected employees.”

Webster County has had over 1,600 positive cases confirmed since March. Over 1,500 are classified as recovered. The virus has killed 14 people in the county.

In the last month, the total caseload has increased over 40%. On Sept. 15, the total was 1,169.

Since Oct. 1, there have been 10 days where positive cases reached double digits. Oct. 5 was the largest single day so far this month with 33 positive cases reported.

According to the state’s coronavirus website, Webster County’s positivity rate was 12% as of Wednesday. That ranks 35th highest in the state. Sioux County’s positivity rate is the highest at 25.5%.

Webster County Health Department continues to strongly encourage residents to wear a mask when outside the home and around others with unknown exposure risks.

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