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As of today, 4/9/20 there are 12 cases of COVID-19 in Benton County. The Benton County Health Department continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

“When cases of COVID-19 first began being reported in Iowa, they were related to travel outside the state,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox “Now, however, there is widespread community transmission. This means the virus is spreading from person-to-person, and often without known contact with a positive case.”

Iowa Code Chapter 22 prohibits the release of information that could lead to the identification of an individual or facility. Benton County Public Health is following Iowa law by not releasing information such as the town where an individual lives. Some states have different confidentiality laws; regardless, information related to where an individual lives or has visited is not essential in protecting the public’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 is circulating widely in the state and in our county. A resident’s chance of being exposed to the virus is high, regardless of contact with a confirmed case. This is why all residents are advised to stay home as much as possible, and when they must leave for essential errands like groceries or to get medication, they maintain a 6-foot distance from other individuals and avoid groups of people. This is because the risk of exposure to the virus is NOT limited to exposure to a known case; you could just as easily be exposed to an undiagnosed individual who is at the grocery store.

You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you must go out for essential errands like getting groceries or prescriptions, go alone if possible and maintain social distancing.
  • Practice social distancing by staying 6-feet away from other individuals. Avoid groups of more than 10 people.
  • Consider wearing a cloth face covering when running essential errands to protect others in case you are infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms, or have not yet developed symptoms.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.

Katie Cox  BSN, RN

Director of Home Health/Public Health