2nd county COVID death reported

The Humboldt County Department of Public Health has announced the second death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. The individual was in the 61-80 age group. The death was reported Monday, Aug. 17.
“We extend our sincere condolences to this individual’s loved ones,” said Humboldt County Public Health Director Joleen Sernett.
This loss is a reminder that we must all do our part to protect our most vulnerable. This means to stay home if you are sick, maintaining six feet distance from those outside of your household, washing your hands often, and wearing a face covering when social distancing is not possible.
Iowa Code Chapter 22 prohibits the release of information that could lead to the identification of an individual or facility. Humboldt 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.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/ and follow Humboldt County cases at https://www.humboldthospital.org/news-events/covid-19-update
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Humboldt County Public Health (HCPH) have identified four additional positive cases of COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday, Aug. 19, raising the county’s total to 138 positive cases since the first positive case was identified and reported in Humboldt County on April 18. Of The total number of positive cases, 120 cases have recovered.
Of the most recent cases, one is in the 18-40 age group and three are in the 41-60-year-old age group.
The breakdown by age group is as follows: (0-17) 14, (18-40) 54, (41-60) 50, (61-80) 19 and (81+) 1. Of total cases in the county, 48 percent were young adults (ages 18-40). Twenty-nine percent were middle age adults ages 41-60 and 13 percent were older adults, ages 61-80. Only 7 percent were children and 4 percent were elderly (age 81 and older).

State error reduces Humboldt’s positivity rate
After inaccurately reporting many counties positivity rates, including Humboldt’s as the highest in the state, the IDPH has acknowledged that a reporting error has led to the higher figures.
It was reported this week that Rob Ramaekers, a lead epidemiologist with the IDPH Surveillance Unit, reported that once a person is tested, the reporting system assigned all subsequent test results to the date of the first test.
“So if I tested negative in March and was reported to IDPH, I would have a ‘Reported to IDPH’ date of March,” Ramaekers said. “If I was tested again today and came back positive, my reported date does not change and now suddenly I appear on the graph in March, instead of having the positive result assigned to the date of the actual positive test,” Ramaekers said.
Dr. Megan Srinivas, an infectious disease physician in Fort Dodge, said the reporting error is one of the worst data errors that could be happening. “We are making these policy calls based on completely flawed numbers and that needs to be acknowledged,” she said in an Associated Press report.
While the county’s positivity rate in the past two weeks was erroneously reported as high as 26 percent, the actual figure is 5.6 percent, ranking Humboldt County as 67th highest of Iowa’s 99 counties. The rates range from a high of 17.3 percent positive in Plymouth County to 0.6 percent in Louisa County. Fifteen Iowa counties have rates above 10 percent.
According to the IDPH website, 578,633 individuals have been tested, with 512,754 testing negative and 53,831 testing positive for a 9.3 percent positive rate.
While 63 percent of positive cases were symptomatic, 13 percent were asymptomatic and 21 percent were pending and 4 percent unknown.
See this site and the Humboldt Independent newspaper for more updated reports.

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