There are three cases of COVID-19 in Hancock County.
With this, Hancock County is the third county in North Iowa to have COVID-19 cases; the other two are Cerro Gordo County, with two cases, and Kossuth County, with one case, for a total of five cases in North Iowa.
Hancock County Emergency Management Andy Buffington said this “leads into the reality of the dire, dire need for people to take this very seriously.”
“This is an extremely serious situation because we do not have a vaccine, we do not have any type of medical therapy for these people to get better, and that’s the scary part about it,” he said.
The vast majority of people who get the virus will recover, but Buffington said those who would fully recover need to act responsibly for the people who are vulnerable to the virus and would not fully recover.
“Social distancing is a crucial piece,” he said. “Staying home when you’re sick. I can’t say enough about how important that is…That’s how we beat this thing. That’s how we see light at the end of the tunnel.”
People with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home until they have no fever, which is a temperature of at least 100.4 degrees, for at least 72 hours without using fever-reducing medicine, other symptoms have improved and it has been at least seven days since the symptoms first appeared, according to the Center for Disease Control’s website.
Supervisor Jerry Tlach said COVID-19 is much more contagious than the African swine flu that if one person gets it and spreads it to three people, and those people each spread it to three more people, in a week there is more than 4,000 cases from the original individual.
“That’s how quick this thing can spread,” he said. “That’s how quickly we can get over 4,000 a week if everybody is just going to go out and do whatever they want to do with this.”
Buffington said having the novel coronavirus in Hancock County was bound to happen, and now is not the time to panic.
In the emergency management and public health world, Buffington said they’ve been planning what happens next now that there are cases in the county.
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa can be found on the Iowa Department of Public Health website.
A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19 and is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.
Heartwarming stories of this year so far
Needing some uplifting news? Take a look at some of this year's most heartwarming stories so far:
It was a wedding the likes of which no one in Mason City has seen before.
For those looking for comfort and companionship while social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Humane Society of North Iowa may hav…
I've been watching various Facebook groups and there's a common theme here in North Iowa: People need help and others are stepping up.
Good Shepherd staffers found a creative way for their residents to communicate with their loved ones.
On a seemingly average weekday, 71-year-old Gary Hanson’s workout at the Mason City Family YMCA began like any other.
Laura Baumann and her husband, John, were all smiles Friday morning.
Christmas spirit at the Nora Springs Care Center is still going strong — thanks to the generosity of a group of donors.
It took less than 24 hours for the community to lift up a Mason City family.
Mason City basketball fans will always remember the Meyer sisters.
The Mohawk Bakery in Mason City High School has seen a few changes this year.
Grace Zaplatynsky can be reached at 641-421-0534.
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