MUSCATINE, Iowa – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds extended the State Public Health Emergency Declaration until May 27, 2020, but has loosen social distancing measures in 77 Iowa counties effective Friday, May 1. Muscatine County, along with 21 other Iowa counties, will have to wait until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 15, to see that social distancing measures loosen.
The proclamation signed today permits restaurants, fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks, and certain other retail establishments in 77 counties to reopen in a limited fashion with public health measures in place according to the release from the Governor’s office. In addition, the proclamation lifts the restriction on religious and spiritual gathers so long as churches and other gathering hosts implement reasonable public health measures.
Muscatine residents are reminded that now is not the time to stop following the guidelines to limit the chances for exposure to COVID-19.
“We know that many people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms, and do not appear sick, but they can still spread the virus,” Christy Roby Williams, Muscatine County Public Health Director said in a press release Monday (April 27).
She added that it is important, even if you are feeling okay, to follow all of the safety precautions, along with social distancing and isolation recommendations, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Get medical help immediately if you develop trouble breathing, have persistent pain or pressure in the chest, have new confusion or inability to arouse, or have bluish lips or face.
Concerns over the virus have made some people afraid to call 9-1-1 for any medical emergency. Never be afraid to call 9-1-1.
First responder and health care providers are well trained to handle any emergency and they take the patients safety just as seriously as they do their own.
For those who have not yet taken the coronavirus assessment offered by the State of Iowa, go to https://www.testiowa.com/ today and start the process. If you meet the criteria, you will be directed to a testing site. If not, you can check back in and retake the assessment anytime you feel you have been in contact with a positive case or have symptoms of the virus.
And if you test positive or don’t feel well … stay home.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must stay home except to receive medical care.
“This means do not go to work, grocery stores, or areas where you could be around others and spread the virus,” Williams said.
And at home, the infected person need to separate themselves in a different area away from loved ones.
“Wash your hands often, avoid sharing personal household items like drinking glasses or eating utensils, clean highly touched surfaces daily, and closely monitor your symptoms,” Williams said.
Family members and close contacts of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 may also be infected, so it is important that they isolate themselves for 14 days to avoid spreading the virus in the community.
Even when you start to feel better, do not go back to work or be around others until all the following have occurred:
- You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
- At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
- If you are working with your local public health, they will inform you when you can go back to work and stores.