Humboldt County reports 1st COVID-19 death

The Humboldt County Department of Public Health today announced the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. The individual was in the 61-80-age group.
“We wish to extend our sympathy to this individual’s family,” said Humboldt County Public Health Director Joleen Sernett. “Humboldt County Public Health and all of our key partners throughout the county and state continue to work to limit the spread and impact of this virus in our communities.”
Iowa Code Chapter 22 prohibits the release of patient information that could lead to the identification of any individual. Humboldt County Public Health is following Iowa law by not releasing any further information.


18 COVID-19 cases reported in Humboldt Co., 12 have recovered

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Humboldt County Public Health have identified four additional cases of COVID-19 in the county. One Humboldt County resident is in the 18-40 age group and three residents are in the 41-60 age group. The four new cases bring the total positive cases in the county to 18. According to the coronavirus website, two cases were identified on May 28, one on May 30 and one on May 31.
The state website reports that as of Monday, 333 citizens have been tested in Humboldt County with 18 positive tests. There have been no Humboldt County deaths. Twelve of the 18 cases have recovered.


Distance learning during a pandemic

Taft second grader Jazlyn Himrod joins her classmates in Mrs. Miller's class from a safe distance at home. It has become the norm since school has been closed since March 16. Submitted photo.

More than 100 fidgety kindergarten students gathered around their computers last Thursday evening for the last class session of an unanticipated and highly eventful 2019-20 school year.
As kindergarten instructor Staci Matson asked parents to put their computers on mute so the virtual Zoom class could begin, the class seemed worlds away from what a normal end of the school year day would be.
It served as a goodbye to retiring Elementary Principal and a welcome to new Elementary Principal Ryan Fedders (Taft).
Bruder has been joining many of the weekly Zoom meetings for elementary students and sat in front of his computer for 13 last Thursday.
Matson said she has been Zooming her kindergarten class one day a week since classes ended in mid-March.


Another COVID-19 positive case reported

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Humboldt County Public Health have identified one additional case of COVID-19 in the county. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon. The Humboldt County resident is in the 41-60 age group.
As of Wednesday, May 27, there are 14 total positive COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County and nine of those patient cases have recovered. Humboldt County Public Health continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic. When cases of COVID-19 first began being reported in Iowa, they were related to travel outside of the state. Now, however, there is a widespread community transmission. This means the virus is spreading from person-to-person, and often without known contact with a positive case.


Humboldt County reports additional COVID-19 cases

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Humboldt County Public Health have identified six additional cases of COVID-19 in Humboldt County.
Three cases were reported last Thursday afternoon, May 21, and three additional cases were reported late Sunday afternoon, May 24.
Four people are in the 41-60 age group and one is in the 61-80 age group, and one is in the 81+ age group. The six new positive cases brings the total positive cases to 13 in Humboldt County. The seven previous cases are considered recovered and none of those required hospitalization.
Humboldt County reports 1,770 test assessments.
Humboldt County Public Health reminds citizens that as the case count rises and the state opens up, it is important to remember to follow the guidelines set forth by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
You can help to reduce and potentially prevent the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to follow the current recommendations:


Governor announces openings of some attractions

May 21
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Wednesday at the movie theaters, zoos, aquariums and swimming pools are among venues that are allowed to reopen starting this Friday.
Bars will be allowed to reopen beginning Thursday, May 28. Like restaurants, they will be allowed to operate at only 50 percent capacity with social distancing measures in place. Farmers markets have been allowed to open for several weeks.
Reynolds also announced that restrooms, showers and cabins at public campgrounds will allowed to be open in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, but playgrounds at campgrounds and state, county and city parks will remain closed.
The Humota Theater in Humboldt has announced that it will continue it curbside popcorn sales on Saturdays through the next two weeks. They will be selling popcorn on Saturday, May 23 from 2-7 p.m. for $5 for a large popcorn with a limit of two per vehicle, cash or local check for the amount only.


Another COVID-19 case reported in Humboldt County

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Humboldt County Public Health have identified a third new case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Humboldt County. One was reported Wednesday afternoon, another was reported late Thursday morning and another reported late Friday afternoon. The three new Humboldt County residents are in the 41-60-age group and are under public health monitoring.
The latest report brings the total positive cases in Humboldt County to seven. Two were in the 18-40-age range and the other five were in the 41-60-age group. Of the seven cases, Humboldt County Public Health report that three have recovered and four are under public health monitoring. None of the positive COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County have required hospitalization.


Camping allowed tomorrow

Humboldt County Conservation has announced Humboldt County campgrounds will open tomorrow (May 8) at 8 a.m. Campers will not be allowed to enter the park or tag camp sites until 8 a.m. Restrooms, shelter houses, cabins and playgrounds will remain closed.


Local businesses fight to survive

Sister’s Home Style Entrees General Manager Mary Catherine Ferry (left) takes the temperature reading of an employee prior to work recently. Submitted photo.

Second in a series
The Novel Coronavirus has turned what was a robust overall economy with relatively low unemployment into an economy in a downward spiral with unemployment numbers surging, currently reported at 25 million nationwide.
Thanks in part to having an ag-based manufacturing sector and many of the local industries deemed “essential services,” the overall unemployment numbers for Humboldt County have not been as depressed as some other areas of the country. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds reported at one of her early press conferences in March that 81 percent of Iowa’s workers are in “essential services.”
Humboldt County’s unemployment rate increased to 4.2 percent in March and April figures are likely to be significantly higher. Statewide, unemployment has reached 1000,000 people and set records for the most unemployment claims filed in a week, for several weeks.


City of Humboldt says Rec Center, Library, City Hall to remain closed

The Humboldt Recreation Center will not be opening Friday, May 1, according to city of Humboldt officials. After an evaluation, city officials released the following statement. "Unfortunately, at this time we don't believe that we would be able to effectively open without eliminating use of much of the equipment, rooms, classes and features of the facility." The city has not given an indication of when the facility, the public library or Humboldt City Hall will reopen to the public.

Following discussions at administrative and department levels, all city of Humboldt facilities will continue to operate as the currently are, Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken reported late Tuesday afternoon.
The Humboldt Recreation Center will remain closed; Library will be doing curbside pickup on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays; and Humboldt City Hall will be closed to the general public, but staff will continue to report and be available by phone and email.
Below is an official statement on the Humboldt Recreation Center:
“Good afternoon. Since Monday’s announcement from Governor Reynolds that she would allow gyms to reopen on May 1, city staff and officials have been working on a plan on how to do so at the Humboldt Recreation Center and still meet social distancing restrictions.

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