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Marshall County public health nurse addresses Rotarians

Following a time of fellowship with pianist Arlene Selby providing background music, Rotary President Mary Giese welcomed Marshalltown Rotarians to its noon gathering at the Elmwood Country Club on July 14. Members attended both in person and via Zoom.

The club welcomed Texas Rotarian Amy Fowler who is visiting Marshalltown on business.

John Fink provided the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Among the celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries, it was noted that Rotarian Dean Elder has been with the Marshalltown club for 43 years. Todd Steinkamp provided a summary of the news of the day.

Bettie Bolar introduced guest speaker Pat Thompson, Marshall County public health nurse and director of Marshall County public health. Thompson made her presentation via Zoom.

Thompson was born and raised in Marshalltown and has been a nurse in this community for many years following her degree in nursing from the University of Iowa. She supervises the Public Health Clinic in Marshalltown, but stated the clinic services are suspended for the time being due to COVID-19. In summarizing the clinic services during normal times, Thompson pointed out that education, vaccinations and in-home assistance are available. Clinic staff work closely with local emergency management services as well as the Iowa Department of Public Health. Additionally, the clinic helps track tuberculosis at the county, state and national level.

Regarding COVID-19, Thompson advised that the virus is still in its beginning stage. She stated people need to proceed slowly. She advised caution in “sharing air” with others. Facial coverings, social distancing and good hygiene are still essential to help control the spread of the virus. She did note that the numbers of infections continue to fluctuate, but there seems to be an infection increase in people in their 20s in Marshall County.

Thompson noted that numbers of infectious cases are compiled from the Iowa Department of Public Health, treatment labs, direct calls and patient contacts. She cautioned that people who feel they are “over it” after 28 days may wish to contact a health care provider for a follow-up check. She warned also that persons who are asymptomatic may expose others. She emphasized that “taking care of you” is an important personal responsibility.

Thompson recommends testing by first going online to www.testiowa.com for an assessment. If warranted following the initial online assessment, a person will be able to go to a testing site — such as the one presently located at the Marshall County Sherriff’s Office, 2369 Jessup Ave., Marshalltown, Iowa.

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