Spencer Mayor Kevin Robinson talks during a Facebook live broadcast on June 11 about COVID-19 in the community.

Mayor, county supervisor chair urge responsibility as COVID-19 cases increase

As Iowa begins to open up, Clay County and surrounding counties are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 59 confirmed cases in Clay County as of Friday evening. That’s an increase of 17 cases in a week. At a press conference Thursday, Spencer Mayor Kevin Robinson said the community’s COVID-19 task force, which meets daily and includes city, county and public health officials, expected the early June peak in cases. “We had prepared for that,” Robinson said.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

Milford woman arrested for brandishing firearm in road rage incident

A Milford woman was arrested June 5 after she allegedly brandished a firearm toward another driver during a road rage incident. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 4:45 p.m. June 5 from a driver heading north from Spencer on U.S. Highway 71 stating a woman had displayed a firearm at him. Milford police located the woman, 46-year-old Alace Welle, in Milford. Milford police and the sheriff’s office then interviewed Welle and the other driver. Welle was arrested at about 6 p.m. and transported to the Clay County Jail.

County reopening governmental offices Monday

The Clay County Board of Supervisors has announced county governmental offices will reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, June 8. While offices are reopening, the county is asking that anyone who is ill or has someone in their household who is ill to stay home. The public is still encouraged to use online services, drop boxes or other alternative methods of doing business at county offices. Entry into each office will be monitored to limit the number of visitors. Members of the public may enter the county administration building through the east doors.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

Clay County COVID-19 case total jumps to 25

Clay County continues to see an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19. Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates Clay County now has 25 confirmed cases. IDPH confirmed three additional cases on Tuesday, another three cases on Wednesday and one more case Thursday morning. COVID-19 on the rise in area counties

All but two of the counties surrounding Clay County have had additional cases reported in the last two days. Buena Vista County has added 21 additional cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

2 more COVID-19 cases confirmed in Clay County; 1 death in Buena Vista County

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported two additional cases of COVID-19 in Clay County on Monday. That brings the county’s total number of cases to 18. It’s the third day in a row that the department (IDPH) has reported additional confirmed cases. IDPH data indicates the number of recovered cases in Clay County remains at 13. Clay County also set a daily high for number of individuals tested at 25 on Monday.

Map of Iowa counties with April 2020 unemployment rates

Clay County unemployment rate 10.5% in April

The unemployment rate in Clay County climbed to 10.5% in April, showing how COVID-19 closures and related workforce changes have affected area jobs. April’s rate is a significant increase from the 3.7% rate in March. Clay County’s unemployment rate in April 2019 was 2.7%. Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said last week that April was the first month Iowa truly saw the impact COVID-19 has had on the state’s unemployment rate. “We remain hopeful that as we reopen the state and more people return to work, the rate will decrease quickly and this unprecedented rate will be a very temporary one,” Townsend said.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

County officials again correct state COVID-19 data

This post has been updated. Clay County still has nine confirmed COVID-19 cases, local health officials confirmed Wednesday. In a situation similar to one that occurred last week, the Iowa Department of Public Health incorrectly attributed a case to Clay County. That individual does not reside in Clay County. In an email shared with the Signal, Susan Zulk, Spencer Hospital VP of Marketing and Fund Development, stated that there could be a variety of reasons for the state misattributing cases to Clay County.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

Update: Clay County still at 9 COVID-19 cases

Update: Clay County Emergency Management has reported that Clay County Public Health, after a continued investigation, has determined that the individual believed to have been Clay County’s 10th case of COVID-19 does not live in Clay County. Clay County’s confirmed cases now remains at nine. All have recovered. Spencer Signal’s original article is below. Clay County has now had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one hospitalization, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported Friday.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

Tracking Clay County COVID-19 cases, tests and other data

The Spencer Signal is tracking the number of COVID-19 cases, recoveries, deaths and people tested in Clay County and other area counties. The following tables represent that data and show how each statistic compares to the previous day’s reported numbers. By making this information available, readers can get a better idea of how the new coronavirus and COVID-19 are spreading locally. Readers can also see how testing efforts are increasing — or decreasing in area counties. Please note that the state sometimes corrects its data.