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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.

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

More COVID-19 cases reported in Clay County this weekend

Three more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Clay County this weekend. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported one additional case on Saturday and another two cases on Sunday, bringing Clay County’s total confirmed cases to 16. Data continues to show 13 people have recovered from previously reported cases. As of Sunday morning, the state of Iowa has reported 19,484 cases of COVID-19, 11,060 recovered cases, and 533 deaths. Three northwest Iowa counties have reported deaths due to COVID-19.

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

3 new COVID-19 cases reported in Clay County

Three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Tuesday in Clay County, bringing the county total to 13. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported the new cases on Wednesday in an update to the state’s coronavirus data website. The data on that website show nine of Clay County’s previous cases have recovered. Testing increases in Clay County

Testing for the new coronavirus has also increased in the county. There were 25 individuals tested on May 20, according to IDPH data.

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.

Bethany Johnson holds her newborn son, Irving Johnson, inside Spencer Hospital's Birth Center as her husband, Ryan Johnson, looks inside from a window.

Their sign of hope: A Spencer family’s story about giving birth during COVID-19

Bethany Johnson knew exactly what to do last month when her water broke. Her first baby was on the way. So, shortly after 7:30 a.m. on April 11, Johnson and her husband, Ryan, went to Spencer Hospital, which is just across Grand Avenue from their house. Unfortunately, that’s when other things stopped going according to plan. 

Ryan had been experiencing symptoms of a common cold. Normally, that’s no big deal, but in a time when COVID-19 was just starting to show up in Clay County, the hospital was beginning to take every precaution necessary to protect patients and staff.