In discussions Jones County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard was having with officials from other counties, the success Jones County was having with their vaccine distribution was something others were seeking to emulate.

“I received a call from a county up on the Minnesota border. A supervisor had been asking what Jones County Public Health was doing that they weren’t doing because they were hearing what rock stars we were,” Leonard said. “How well [clinics] were run, how many people they were running through, how registering was simple.”

Jenna Lovaas said that the department had handled more than 500 vaccinations in their educator’s clinic held Feb. 6.

“Kaci [Ginn] did an amazing job,” Lovaas said, saying the clinic earned positive feedback.

The amount of vaccine received by the county would remain consistent for the rest of the month, though Lovaas hoped it increased soon, otherwise the phase 1B vaccinations could take a long time, with the largest groups being those 65 and older. According to the number from the clinic, there are 4,500 seniors, about 500 educators and a couple hundred for the other parts of the tier.

“It needs to go up for us to maintain progress,” she said.

The supervisors voted to approve more temporary help for the public health department, including assistance to help the department get through their backlog of voicemails.

Leonard said the biggest personal protective equipment issue they were running into was getting their hands on the sharps containers necessary to run the vaccination clinics.

COVID-19 update

As of Feb. 15, Jones County’s 14-day positivity dropped another 3% to 7%, dropping 3% for two straight weeks. The seven-day stats were cut in half over the last week, from 8% to 4%. The number of cases added in the last seven days continued to drop, down from 28 to 18. The number of cases added in the last 14 after rising in the previous period dropped sharply for a second week in a row, down from 63 to 46.

Overall, the county sits at 2,827 confirmed cases. The county’s number of positive cases per 100,000 of population remained in fifth at 13,628.

As of Feb. 15, the Anamosa school district continued to see a drop of those quarantining due to COVID-19. The district was reporting no students in quarantine at the high school, down four, less than five at the middle school, down at least 17, and four at Strawberry Hill Elementary, down 13 from the previous week. For each building and “other staff” the number was still zero, with the exception of Anamosa Middle School, which sits at less than five.

As of Feb. 15, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 54 deaths for Jones County, up one from the previous week.

In Linn County, the 14-day average dropped 2% to 7%, and the seven-day average dropped another 2% to 5%. The active count in Springville’s zip code saw four cases added, making their total 174. Among the positive cases, more than 91% are recovered.

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