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Health officials like QC numbers, but “We cannot let up now”
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COVID-19 IN Q-C

Health officials like QC numbers, but “We cannot let up now”

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The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rock Island and Scott counties remain below 30 combined, but county health officials remained cautious in their assessment of how both counties are doing in terms of containing the coronavirus pandemic in the Quad-Cities.

There were six new cases in Scott County on Monday bringing the total to 16, and four new positive tests in Rock Island County, bringing that county’s total to 11. Muscatine County has 13 positive cases 

“We are certainly not as affected by this disease, as other counties in other states,” Ed Rivers, director of the Scott County Health Department said. “I am hopeful that our response earlier in March about getting the word out to people about social distancing and how to protect yourself from the disease will help keep our numbers low.”

Nita Ludwig, administrator for the Rock Island County Health Department readily agreed but quickly reiterated an earlier point of Monday’s press conference of not getting complacent.

“Keep washing your hands, keep your social distance going,” she said. “Make sure you have 6 feet between you and others, and stay home if you are ill.”

Earlier, she included the need to call your health provider before any appointment to be checked for the virus.

“We cannot let up now,” Ludwig said. “We have the ability to protect both our community and ourselves. Our ability to successfully social distance is what is going to make the difference for our community.”

Rivers earlier said he did not have any knowledge of numbers that gave any impression that the Quad-Cities would reach its first peak numbers any earlier than the two to three weeks suggested Sunday by Iowa health officials for the entire state of Iowa.

Ludwig’s main message Monday was that people need to stay on top of the community’s effort.

“For our community, we can best protect those around us by staying home as much as possible, limiting trips out and about for only essential needs, and self-isolating at home if we begin to show signs of illness,” Ludwig said.

“We can best protect ourselves by minimizing the spread of germs around us. Make sure to clean frequently touched services in your home and workspace, such as countertops and door handles. In addition to the other steps you are taking, use handwashing as your best line of defense against COVID-19.

“We know it sounds simple, but washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water or hand sanitizer is such a huge factor in preventing the virus from spreading to yourself or others,” Ludwig said.

As the weather warms, as it did Monday, Ludwig said it’s OK to go out and walk, run or ride a bike as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

She also noted there are differences between Iowa and Illinois and what’s allowed, such as it’s OK to go golfing in Iowa but not in Illinois. People need to pay attention to their state’s guidelines, she said.

Other topics covered Monday included:

  •  Masks

The Iowa Department of Public Health provided new guidance for homemade mask design. The guidance encourages individuals interested in constructing masks to make masks as requested by the health care facility where they plan to donate. If the health care facility does not have a specific plan, please construct masks using the directions on togetherqc.com.

The Salvation Army in the Quad Cities is collecting masks made by the guidelines on togetherqc.com. They also are taking any other personal protective equipment, or PPE, including medical gloves, masks and gowns.

Individuals or businesses interested in donating PPE should contact the Salvation Army at 563-324-4808.

  • Test Results

Private lab results take 10-14 days in both states, officials said.

In Iowa, the samples  are sent to either the State Hygienic Laboratory or private labs. Results are sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory if the patient meets testing criteria, with those results taking two to three days. In Illinois, results sent to one of the three state labs — in Chicago, Springfield or Carbondale — and are being turned around in one to two days.

  •  River Bend Foodbank

The River Bend Foodbank is continuing to distribute food to people now even more in need because of the COVID-19 crisis. The organization’s expenses are increasing because of the cost of prepacking food boxes, increased deliveries and having to purchase food. The organization is asking for monetary donations to help more people. To give, visit riverbendfoodbank.org then click on “donate.”

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