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Story County sees increase in nearly 100 COVID-19 cases in a week

David Mullen
Staff Writer
Ninety five Story County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last seven days, according to the state health department.

Ninety five cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported by state and local health officials over the last week, which is the largest number during a seven-day span.

Sixty one percent of those cases have been reported since Friday, the day Iowa State University’s athletic department announced that ten student athletes, including two football players have tested positive for COVID-19, and businesses lifted their capacity restrictions across the state.

In a statement to the Tribune on Friday afternoon, Angie Hunt, ISU’s news service director, said none of the 10 student athletes who tested positive for coronavirus were “participating in team activities at the time they were exposed to COVID-19.”

The statement also said that all football players and staff members of the team would be tested upon their return to Ames. Since that decision, 147 members have been tested.

On Monday, ISU Athletics did not have any additional updates, according to Angie Hunt, ISU’s news service director.

Over the weekend, 58 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported throughout Story County. Since June 1, 51% of the county’s 253 cases have been reported.

One of the new cases has been confirmed to be another Bethany Life resident, a long-term care facility located in Story City, which was reported to have a COVID-19 outbreak on June 4. Since the announcement, 11 residents have tested positive for the virus, which has resulted in one death.

Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health confirmed the additional cases, but did not immediately have information on where the individuals were tested or their status.

Sullivan added that Mary Greeley currently has three patients admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19, but none of the patients are in the intensive care unit.

Throughout the pandemic, Sullivan said the numbers of patients admitted into the hospital has been fairly steady, however, there was a slight increase several weeks ago when there were 13 patients in their facility due to COVID-19.

On Monday, 162 new cases and one death was reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Dr. Rossana Rosa, an infectious disease specialist at Unity Point in Des Moines, told the Tribune that allowing certain businesses to “lift any type of restrictions in capacity is dangerous.”

“That is why I’d say reopening or allowing certain businesses to lift any type of restrictions in capacity is dangerous, and cannot be viewed as a return to normal,” Rosa said. “Relaxation of measures is what’s going to lead to an increase of opportunities for transmission.”

Rosa added the increase in testing also plays a vital role in an increase in numbers, but believes the congregation of activity out weighs that factor.

Since the pandemic breached Iowa’s boarders in March, 24,046 residents have tested positive for the virus which has led to the deaths of 653 Iowans.

As of Monday morning, over 4,100 Story County residents have been tested for the novel coronavirus and only 6.1% of the tests have been positive. Of the 253 residents that have been positive, 108 have fully recovered.