Medical experts have said for months that people can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, washing hands, staying home when sick and socially distancing.
“You might be sick of hearing it,” said Dr. Dave Williams, chief clinical officer for UnityPoint Thursday. “But I need you to listen.”
Williams was at a news conference Thursday with Governor Kim Reynolds on a day that Iowa reported a record of 4,562 new COVID-19 infections. Williams’ message was simple. While COVID infections are going up, health care workers are struggling.
“The health care workers throughout this state are exceptional, and they are exhausted,” he said. “They are exhausted mentally, they are exhausted physically. They have been battling this disease for eight grueling months.”
That’s a message echoed by Dr. Hijinio Carreon, chief medical officer at MercyOne in Des Moines.
“We are at a critical point in this state’s fight against COVID-19,” said Carreon. “It’s going to take every Iowan doing their part to get this virus under control. I am asking you as an emergency department physician, as a father and a husband please protect your family, our community and our health care workers by wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, maintaining physical distancing and using meticulous hand hygiene.”
Warren County had an additional 45 cases of the virus on Thursday, according to a spreadsheet provided by Warren County Public Health that is updated daily for a total of 1,527 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.
The 50125 zip code, which includes Indianola, had the biggest jump with 19 new cases reported Thursday. Warren County Sheriff Brian Vos said nine of those cases were in Indianola. Indianola city manager Ryan Waller said Indianola now has 347 cases within the city limits since the pandemic began and 103 cases in the city’s fire district.
The 50211 zip code, which includes Norwalk, gained 12 additional cases, moving to a total of 491 since the pandemic began, according to the department of public health. The 50047 zip code, which includes Carlisle, had five new cases, although Vos said none of those were within the Carlisle city limits.
The 50166 zip code, which includes Milo, had three new cases Thursday and the 50320 zip code, which is part of Des Moines in Warren County, and the 50210 zip code, which includes New Virginia, each had two new cases. The 50001 zip code, which includes Ackworth, and the 50160 zip code, which includes Martensdale, had one case each.
Simpson College added eight new cases on Thursday for a total of 20 currently active cases. There are now 78 students on and off campus who are in quarantine.