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Public Health continues vaccinations

Public Health continues vaccinations

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Jessa Ketelsen mug

Jessa Ketelsen

Jessa Ketelsen and Laura Huisman provided a Mitchell County Home Health/Public Health Department update at the Feb. 16 supervisors meeting.

“We just hired two new PRN aide staff to kind of help out as our census goes up and down and to help with the [COVID-19] vaccine clinic,” Huisman said.

Mitchell County Department of Public Health

Mitchell County Department of Public Health in Osage.

Ketelsen provided COVID-19 case totals, which were updated on Feb. 18: total confirmed cases stood at 1,189, recovered cases 1,138, confirmed deaths 40, 14-day average positivity rate 2.2 percent, and active cases 11.

“We are the lowest in the state of Iowa, which is huge,” Ketelsen said of the positivity rate as of Feb. 16.

“That’s something Mitchell County should definitely be proud of, because the highest is 24 percent,” Huisman said.

Ketelsen said that in the previous week they’d had only three positive cases.

“We have started the vaccine process,” Ketelsen said of vaccinations, which now has a waiting list. “To date, public health has given a total of 1,128 vaccines; 791 have received their first dose; 337 have completed the series of the two. We are only receiving about 200 doses a week, so we’re not getting a lot from the state.”

Tier two will begin soon, and according to the Iowa Department of Public Health it includes food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers who work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing, and individuals with disabilities living in home setting and their direct care staff.

“We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on how smoothly it runs,” Huisman said of the vaccination clinic. “We’ve had so much support. We’ve had I think 55 volunteers on our list that are signed up to help.”

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