Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in Dickinson County after a man between the ages of 61 and 80 was diagnosed today.
This is the first confirmed case in Dickinson County and the first of any counties neighboring Clay County.
The hospital staff stated the man is stable, getting treatment and is in isolation.
In a video posted to the hospital’s YouTube account, Dr. Zach Borus addressed what the confirmation means for the community and the hospital.
“Truthfully, we’ve been preparing for this for weeks,” Borus said.
Borus added that the hospital is trying to be as transparent as possible to the public and members of its community.
“Our recommendations at this point don’t change,” he said. “At this point, we recommend that you stay home as much as possible, unless you are going out for essential functions for work or to get food and supplies for your family.”
As of March 26, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reported zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County. There have been 179 confirmed cases in Iowa and one death.
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, spreads easily. The IDPH recommends the following preventative actions as provided by the Centers for Disease Control to help prevent the spread of the illness:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Symptoms associated with COVID-19 appear 2-14 days after a person has been exposed. Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The CDC recommends seeking immediate medical attention if someone experiences trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face.
In Spencer, the Avera Medical Group Clinic asks people to first call (712) 264-3500 before visiting.
If anyone is unsure if they meet the criteria for testing, a call center has been established. It can be reached 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, by calling (712) 264-6514 or toll free 1-(800)-848-0638.