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COVID-19 cases rise

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After lessening restrictions for the county’s recovering plan earlier this week, the Polk County Health Center said it confirmed two more COVID-19 cases Thursday, June 25. 

According to a health center news release, the patients, cases 12 and 13, are both Polk County residents and currently at home in isolation. The center announced the county’s 11th confirmed case a week ago on Saturday, June 20. 

There are no suspected public exposures for the two new cases, the release said. 

“All those who may have come into contact with the individuals while infectious have been contacted and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms by the Polk County Health Center epidemiology team,” the release said.

Both cases are travel related, the release said. 

“We have been very fortunate that both positive cases have not visited public places for which we would have to issue a public notice of exposure,” Michelle Morris, Polk County Health Center Administrator, said in the release. “These individuals are to be commended for embracing personal responsibility to limit exposure in our community.”

As the county continues to take steps to reopen, the release said it’s even more important for people to interact with the environment carefully.  

The release asked people to wash their hands, practice social distancing and stay home if sick.    

As of press time Friday, 1,163 Polk County residents had been tested for COVID-19 by Citizens Memorial Hospital with 1,054 negative results, the health center said. There were 109 test results pending. 

Of the county’s 13 confirmed cases, four were active and nine had recovered, the center said. Thirty-four people remained in quarantine.  

Per a post on the Polk County Health Center Facebook page Tuesday morning, Polk County officially moved into step three of the second phase of its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan at midnight Tuesday, June 23.  

Under step three, guidelines remain the same as previous steps with the following exceptions:

  • Mass gatherings limited to 250 or less.

  • High-risk individuals limit essential outings while utilizing face coverings and other protective measures.

  • Senior living facilities and hospitals limit visits with strict prevention guidelines.

For more information about the county’s response and recovery plan, visit the health center’s website at polkcountyhealthcenter.org.

Editor Jessica Franklin Maull contributed to this report. 

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