Third COVID-19 death reported in county

The Humboldt County Department of Public Health today (Friday afternoon) announced the third death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. The individual was in the 61-80 age group.
“We are saddened to report the county's third COVID-19 related death. We urge residents to continue being vigilant and supportive of each other as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect each other,” 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.
At Friday’s Humboldt County Board of Health meeting, Sernett reported 312 positive cases total in the county since the pandemic arrived. (Humboldt County’s first positive case was reported April 18.) Of that number 227 have recovered and there area 85 positive active cases in the county. The 14-day positivity rate is 15.3 percent. Anything over 15 percent the local school district can ask the governor for a waiver to allow online learning, but the school district must also have a 10 percent absentee rate and neither Humboldt, St. Mary’s, TRV or Gilmore City-Bradgate have reached that threshold.
HCMH Chief Executive Officer Michelle Sleiter said the local school districts have been great to work with.
She said Humboldt County Public Health is one of 45 counties doing it’s own contract tracing. “That is very important for our patients and the people they have been in contact with. It is very time consuming and we try to get in contact with people who may have been exposed to the virus the same day we find out a person has tested positive. Jolene deserves a big thanks as this is a seven-day a week job for her,” Sleiter said.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at and follow Humboldt County cases at
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.

• Deaths are reported following a complete investigation and finalized death certificate.

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