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Webster Co. cases, deaths double in last month

It took Webster County nearly eight months to reach 2,000 COVID-19 cases, but about one month to gain the last 2,000 cases, leaving the total caseload doubled at over 4,000 now.

On Oct. 28, the county had 1,940 cases. On Monday, Webster County Public Health (WCPH) said the total had increased to 4,034.

In the same month, the death toll more than doubled, surging from 15 to 35.

With an exponential nature, November’s statistics continue to gallop at breakneck speed after Thanksgiving. With 167 new cases since Friday alone, the county’s positivity rate remains high at 22.7%. A total of 321 cases remain open under public health monitoring.

“The risk of contracting COVID-19 remains severe due to the sheer volume of positive cases we’re seeing in Webster County,” said Kelli Bloomquist, public information officer for WCPH. “We need residents to take this virus seriously in order to protect our communities and local health care and public health systems.”

WCPH continues to plead with residents to wear a face mask correctly when leaving the house, practice social distancing of at least six feet, wash hands frequently, limit gatherings, only leave home when necessary and stay home when sick. In Fort Dodge, wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is mandatory in most buildings open to the public.

Due to the number of COVID cases and the need for testing, it may take time to get a testing appointment. Testing is available at multiple sites throughout Webster County including the following:

• UnityPoint Health: Call your primary care provider.

• Community Health Center of Fort Dodge: Call ahead to 515-576-6500 for urgent, routine or COVID-19 rapid testing to make an appointment.

• Iowa Specialty Clinic: Call ahead to 515-955-6767 for COVID-19 rapid testing. Patients at the Iowa Specialty Clinic must be symptomatic to receive testing.

Webster County Public Health does not conduct testing, but analyzes and acts on the testing information provided by medical providers before providing U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and contact tracing as necessary.

The agency advises those without health insurance in need of testing to advise their scheduler when making an appointment. If you are awaiting test results, the public health department said it is imperative to self-quarantine until receipt of the test results.

Webster County Public Health’s COVID Hotline remains available to residents with questions regarding COVID-19 including quarantine, isolation guidance and exposures. The hotline is available by phone at 515-227-7153 or via email at WebCoCOVID@WebsterCountyIA.org.

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