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County administers vaccines to everyone older than 67

There are absolutely no outbreaks of COVID-19 at any of the long-term care facilities in Iowa and six days after the state loosened the restrictions on visitation.

Iowa Veterans Home Commandant Timon Oujiri said the facility is not 100 percent open yet but visitors are coming in of all ages. Visits still need to be scheduled, as Oujiri said they cannot have hundreds of people arriving. The visitors are also restricted to one location.

“We are asking visitors if they would like to be tested and we can do that on the spot,” he said. “If the test is negative, they can come in. If the test is positive, we ask if they still want to go in. We do not have 100 percent vaccination for our residents, but visitors can still see their loved ones.”

As the vaccination effort continues on the IVH campus, it continues throughout the rest of Marshall County. Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson said the county again received 500 doses of vaccines this week. She does not think the number will increase in the next two weeks, but is confident it will not drop, either.

Vaccines are still being scheduled for administered to people by age group and essential worker status through the county. People younger than 65 are also getting their vaccinations scheduled in Marshall County and wherever else in Iowa they can go.

“Just remember if you go somewhere for your first dose, you need to go there again for your second,” Thompson said.

The county has vaccinated all people older than 67 who have requested a vaccine through health care providers UnityPoint, McFarland and Primary Health Care. Thompson said the effort to inoculate manufacturing employees will begin soon.

“We are working toward it,” she said.

In addition to the reduced restrictions for long-term care facilities, Thompson said some new information about the vaccines is positive.

“If you get both doses of the vaccine and are exposed to someone with COVID, you no longer have to quarantine if you don’t have symptoms,” she said. “We are still learning about the vaccines and will learn more. We know it is safe, but we don’t know how long it will be effective.”

Thompson asks for people to continue the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation practices such as staying home if they are sick, wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

There have been around 8,700 vaccinations administered to Marshall County residents, and some of them may have gone elsewhere in the state to receive them. In Iowa, 1.1 million residents have received doses.

Throughout the state, 5,672 people have died from the virus. Marshall County has reported 74 deaths, which is one more reported from last week. Marshall County has also had 5,056 of Iowa’s 372,448 positive COVID-19 cases.

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Contact Lana Bradstream

at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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