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One year of COVID in Webster County

Health Department keeps up with latest recommendations

Webster County’s first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed one year ago on Friday. Since that time, 5,294 residents have tested positive for the virus.

Eighty-eight residents have lost their lives due to COVID.

“So much has changed in the past year since Iowa’s first case and since Webster County’s first diagnosed case,” said Webster County Health Department Director Kari Prescott. “We have watched scientists, medical providers and public health staff work in real time to keep residents safe in so many ways including quarantine and isolation guidance, providing factual and transparent information to the public, and even now with the creation and distribution of vaccines.”

WCHD’s staff of 30 has been busy throughout the past 365 days providing quarantine and isolation guidance and release to all positive case residents, as well as answering questions and caring for the worried well. The worried well are people who are healthy but worried about COVID-19.

Staff has also been ensuring that residents had necessities like food and medicine, and have been providing multiple mass vaccination clinics.

“It has been a busy and at times difficult year because of COVID,” said Prescott. “My staff has risen to meet every challenge and I’m so proud of them. During Webster County’s peak, we were receiving more than 100 new cases a day, and they met the challenge of keeping up with quarantine and isolation and caring for our worried well. Now they’re continuing that with our continued positive cases, but also managing large mass vaccination clinics and our normal programming.”

Vaccination clinics continue throughout Webster County. Gov. Kim Reynolds recently rewarded WCHD with additional vaccination doses because of the organization and capabilities shown at these local clinics.

According to the state of Iowa, more than 15,000 vaccination doses have been given in Webster County.

“We are excited with the number of vaccinations that we’ve been able to provide to our communities and residents,” said Prescott. “It’s important to remember that while we work through the vaccination process that residents continue to wear a mask, to social distance, to wash their hands, and to stay at home if they’re sick.”

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