Iowa’s COVID-19 proclamation ending, health officials say not much will change

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – For Linn County Public Health Director Pramod Dwivedi and the rest of the health department, Iowa’s COVID-19 disaster proclamation expiration will not change much.

“We are not going to receive the negative test results, which means that we can not really calculate the positivity rate for our community basically,” he said.

To fill that gap in data collection, they now have to rely on local hospitals like UnityPoint and Mercy Medical Center.

“We are in good shape because we have this robust partnership within our community,” said Dwivedi.

Johnson County Public Health finds itself in a similar situation. Sam Jarvis says they will continue to report their data to the CDC, primarily focusing on areas that show an increased risk of the virus.

“At the moment we still believe we will have the low, medium, substantial, and high transmission statuses that we’ll be able to benchmark off of and primarily that drives the indoor masking requirement and recommendations,” said Jarvis.

As Governor Reynolds’ considers dealing with COVID-19 the same way we handle influenza, both health departments say it’s far too soon to consider this an endemic.

“It still seems very soon, or too soon to discontinue, and the certainty the messaging around the pandemic being over when certainly it is not.”

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