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Webster County mask mandate expires

CDC still recommends wearing a mask; Health Department: 21% of county is fully vaccinated

The mask mandate for Webster County expired last week as more Iowans continue to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The mandate expired because the Webster County Board of Supervisors voted to extend it only through April 17. The board did not meet on Tuesday. The mandate could be discussed again at the next meeting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing a mask, social distancing and staying home when sick to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, as of Wednesday an estimated 21% of the county’s residents are considered fully vaccinated, according to the Webster County Health Department.

Webster County providers have administered 25,500 doses of the vaccine. A thousand more people were anticipated to receive their second dose on Thursday.

“I am proud of the work that we have done to vaccinate 21% of our county and of residents from throughout Iowa who have come to our clinics,” said Kari Prescott, WCHD director. “We still have work to do in reaching 50% vaccination in the county. We will continue to assess the need for future mass clinics based on community and county need. Residents can still schedule appointments locally with Daniel Pharmacy and Hy-Vee.”

Prescott said although more people are getting vaccinated, positive cases are still being confirmed throughout the county.

“Even with 21% of the county being vaccinated, we are still seeing positive cases in the unvaccinated,” Prescott said. “It remains important that residents continue wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and staying home when sick. We are seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but we just aren’t there yet.”

Webster County has had a total of 5,086 positive COVID cases since the spring of 2020. As of Wednesday, 15 people are in isolation. Three were to be removed from isolation on Thursday.

Underscoring the importance of receiving a vaccination, the WCHD revealed that of those 15 individuals, 14 were not vaccinated. The other individual had received their first dose, but not a second. The county’s 14-day positivity rate is 3%.

Prescott remains proud of the county’s effort in vaccinating residents.

“We set the bar high for our vaccination clinics and I’m thankful that Webster County residents, Gov. Reynolds and Iowans have noticed the hard work of our staff,” Prescott said. “In our biggest day of vaccinations, we were able to reach 2,300 people in first and second doses.

“Those numbers are amazing. We had Iowans come from all over the state and some even from out of state to our clinic because they heard about the work that we are doing. I am so proud of our Webster County Health Department staff.”

WCHD will continue to assess the need for mass vaccination clinics in the area. Currently, Daniel Pharmacy and Hy-Vee have vaccinations available in our community. WCHD recommends making appointments at either of these pharmacies.

By the numbers

COVID-19 vaccines in Webster County

• 22,889 vaccinations provided to Webster County residents

• 3,926 residents have received first dose

• 18,106 doses administered to complete 2nd dose (9053 people x 2)

• 855 have received one dose series — Johnson and Johnson

• Total residents (unduplicated) receiving a dose: 13,834

• Total residents who have completed series: 9,908

• Total residents needing to complete the series: 3,926

• Total population of Webster County — 35,904

• Estimated eligible population 28,154

• 9908 series completed = 35%

• 3,926 waiting for 2nd dose

• After 2nd dose is completed — 13,834 = 49%

• Initial target number to get to 50% = 14,000-15,000 — estimated

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