Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021
Dubuque County: 13 New Cases, 104 Recoveries, and 1 New Death.
Iowa: 834 New Cases, 3,291 Recoveries, and 13 New Deaths.
Preparations Under Way for Appointment-Based Community Vaccination Clinic
Yesterday the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors approved the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team’s request to lease vacant space at Kennedy Mall in Dubuque to operate an indoor, appointment-based COVID-19 vaccination point of distribution (POD) for Phase 1B vaccinations.
Preparations are under way at the former Younkers women's store at the mall with the goal of opening the site to appointments for vaccinations beginning mid-February and as vaccine allocations become more available.
The clinic will operate as a joint vaccination site for multiple local healthcare providers who will offer their patients COVID vaccinations at the site by appointment only. Appointments will be required for all COVID vaccinations. “Walk-ins” will not be accepted. County residents age 65 and over will be contacted by their healthcare provider when vaccines are available and vaccination appointments can be scheduled. Healthcare providers will contact their patients through a variety of channels including telephone, text, email, and letter. Detailed information on how to schedule appointments will be provided by each healthcare provider. Please do not contact your healthcare provider or other vaccination sites to request a vaccination or to be placed on a waiting list.
In accordance with IDPH guidance to begin vaccinations for Phase 1B on February 1, some local healthcare providers may have alternate accommodations to administer some vaccines beginning this week. Residents should follow guidance from their healthcare organization if they are notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine.
IDPH Confirms B.1.1.7 Variant Strain in Iowa
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced yesterday it has confirmed three cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7. in Iowa. The virus variant is often referred to as the U.K. variant because it was first detected in the United Kingdom. Based on epidemiologic and modeling data, researchers believe that the B.1.1.7 strain can be spread more easily than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. Current COVID-19 vaccines are considered to be effective against the variant strain.
Two of the three B.1.1.7 cases were detected in Johnson County, an adult (18 to 40) and a middle aged adult (41 to 60) and an adult individual in Bremer County. IDPH and local public health have already initiated contact with these cases to understand their exposures and initiate the health monitoring process. The process will include notifying anyone with whom these individuals have been in close contact. The individuals will be advised to isolate in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidance.
“Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Public health will continue to work with our partners at SHL to monitor these trends and it is very important that we all keep practicing good public health protective measures,” shared Dr. Caitlin Pedati, State Medical Director and Epidemiologist.The emergence of new variants underscores that it remains critical for Iowans to continue the mitigation efforts that we know work to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Practice social distancing with those outside your household
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
- Consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you