During her weekly update to the Jones County Board of Supervisors July 28, Jones County Public Health Director Jenna Lovaas said while positive cases were continuing to come in, they were more of a “steady flow,” rather than the flood that the county had seen the week previously.

As of Aug. 3, the county’s number of positive COVID cases increased to 122, up from as of 108 from July 27. Though the county did see five new positive cases reported on July 30, there were also two days during the past week with no positive tests reported, July 28 and Aug 1. According to the state’s coronavirus website, 70 of the cases were recovered and a second death had been reported in the county.

Lovaas said she was slightly concerned that she was hearing testing supplies were starting to be limited and the turnaround for test results was starting to take longer, which makes it harder to contain the spread.

The supervisors approved the hiring of two contact tracers that the supervisors had approved the funding for at the previous meeting, one that will join the county at a later date.

Last week, in a letter dated July 29, Lovaas joined nine other public health directors in signing a letter asking for Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a statewide mask mandate. Citing Center of Disease Control Director Robert Redfield stating that, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus,” they asked the governor to consider a mandate.

“Masking benefits when everyone in the community wear(s) face coverings. Therefore, Iowa’s local health department directors would strongly urge you to consider mandating the use of cloth face coverings to reduce/avoid the spread of COVID-19. This is not only a public health win but also an economic win,” the letter read.

During her portion of the update, Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard said she is fielding a few more calls from local health care providers trying to find affordable N-95 masks.

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