COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally, including the United States, and Iowa. Community spread has been confirmed throughout Black Hawk County.
From person-to-person by respiratory droplets, similar to seasonal flu. Respiratory droplets are droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes that can contain the virus. The virus spreads when droplets get into a person's mouth, nose, or eyes. People are considered contagious from 2 days before symptom onset until 10 days after, although people can continue to be contagious after 10 days. Spread is more likely when people are in prolonged close contact with one another (within about 6 feet for at least 15 minutes).
It is important that if you are ill with a fever or respiratory symptoms (cough or difficulty breathing) that you remain home and isolate from others in the home. You should remain isolated at home until:
These are recommendations that all Iowans ill with symptoms of COVID-19 should follow regardless of whether or not they have been tested for COVID-19.
Anyone can get a test through their healthcare provider or a pharmacy. Iowans are able to order or pick up a free test through Test Iowa (https://www.testiowa.com/en). Everyone is also eligible to order 4 free rapid test kits to be shipped to their home through the federal government (https://www.covidtests.gov/)
Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately, and should call their health care provider before going in to be seen. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their health care provider early, even for mild illnesses.
If you are unvaccinated, less than 2 weeks out from your primary vaccination series, greater than 5 months from a Pfizer or Moderna series, or greater than 2 months from a Johnson and Johnson vaccine:
If you are able to isolate away from each other in the home, then the last time you were in close contact would be the day you started isolating away from the person who is ill. If you are not able to isolate at home then the last time you are in close contact is not until the day the ill person no longer needs to isolate (5 days after onset of symptoms or day of positive test, and 24 hours fever free, and symptoms improving).
If you have received any booster shot, are less than 5 months out from a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series, less than 2 months out from a Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 3 months:
People in the following situations should consider themselves exposed to COVID-19:
Refer to the previous question regarding quarantine guidelines to determine if you need to quarantine at home.
Data has shown that people are more infectious during the early part of their illness, so the time a person is expected to remain at home due to exposure or infection was reduced. These guidelines do not affect healthcare personnel and do not supersede state or local laws or regulations.
To more accurately reflect the data our team is monitoring, we will be publishing PCR and antigen positive cases, along with the number of hospitalized patients, recovered cases, and deaths. As testing becomes more widely available, we want to provide the public with more data since these numbers are widely circulated on social media. These numbers are found on the banner on the top of this website and are posted during the week on our Facebook page.
In an effort to publish the most up to date information on local numbers, the Black Hawk County Department of Health reports COVID-19 cases as they become available. The Black Hawk County Department of Health reported cases include positive PCR tests, positive antigen tests, and symptomatic close contacts of cases. As a result, the county’s data may differ from the state’s reported cases.
Some Important Definitions: