GUEST EDITORIAL — Health officials urge caution over holiday weekend
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
As we prepare to enjoy Fourth of July week and upcoming celebrations in our beautiful Iowa Great Lakes region, we wish to remind you that Independence Day is founded on sacrifices, which includes a history of Americans giving up personal comforts to enhance wellbeing for all.
The public health and emergency management teams of Clay and Dickinson counties are teaming up to ask you to make just a few simple adjustments in your holiday weekend plans to help protect the health of our communities. Together, we can make a difference in minimizing the continued spread of COVID-19 locally.
Protect others – Wear a mask in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
• Even if you don't have symptoms, if you are infected with COVID-19, you can shed the virus. A mask helps you keep your germs to yourself, protecting others.
• If others around you also wear masks, all of you are better protected.
• Find a mask that fits well and when you put it on, try not to touch your mask except by the straps, and remember it needs to cover both your mouth and your nose for it to be effective.
Be social – from a distance.
While the COVID-19 virus can be spread from touching surfaces or items, the primary method of virus transmission is through air droplets. The lowest risk methods of social distancing is not to socialize in-person, or only socialize with members of your household. Yet, we recognize that you may wish to spend time with friends or family other than household members. When you do, please follow these suggestions:
• Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Wear a mask if closer, and consider wearing a mask even at a distance of six feet or greater.
• Gather outdoors to reduce exposure risks.
• Strive to keep your group numbers small. Also, limit the time frame you are among a large group. The more people you interact with, and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
Keep it clean.
Hygiene practices – covering your cough or sneeze, frequent hand-washing, and cleaning surfaces – are important steps in mitigating the risk of spreading any virus, including COVID-19.
Together, We Can Make a Difference.
Our wish is for everyone to enjoy a safe Fourth of July weekend, yet to do so, everyone has a role to play. The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious. While most people will not get severely ill and some may not experience any symptoms, it can be life threatening. We're asking you to do your part. Please make small adjustments and minor sacrifices in your celebration plans to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Mike Ehret, Dickinson County Emergency Management
Eric Tigges, Clay County Emergency Management
Brandon Rohrig, Dickinson County Public Health
Colette Rossiter, Clay County Public Health
Dr. Zach Borus, Medical Director, Dickinson County Board of Health
Dr. David Keith, Medical Director, Clay County Board of Health