Health Department to keep up COVID fight | News, Sports, Jobs

Although a statewide health emergency declaration has been lifted, the Webster County Health Department will remain vigilant in its efforts to stop COVID-19.

Local residents shouldn’t let their guard down either, according to a nurse active in the anti-COVID effort.

”Nothing has changed in what we have recommended to you to protect yourself from COVID,” Tricia Nichols, a public health nurse with the Webster County Health Department, said Friday.

Those recommendations include getting vaccinated and staying home when sick.

The Health Department is not changing its approach to COVID-19 even though the public health disaster emergency declaration was lifted by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

”We’re still encouraging people to get vaccinated,” Nichols said. ”We’re still holding our vaccine clinics. We’re still taking phone calls, answering questions from the public.”

”Nothing has changed,” she added.

With the emergency declaration gone, the state Department of Public Health is expected to post less COVID data on its web site. Nichols said there will still be data available, but it ”won’t be as robust as it has been.”

The arrival of home test kits has impacted that data. While health care providers are required to report positive case numbers to the state, people who test positive with a home kit are not required to report the results.

”The numbers have been skewed for awhile now,” Nichols said.

Reynolds declared the health disaster emergency on March 17, 2020, and rescinded it on Thursday.

The Webster County Health Department has COVID-19 vaccination clinics each Wednesday and Friday at its office, 723 First Ave. S.

Clinic hours are 9 a.m to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.

Call 515-573-4107 for appointments.

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