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COVID-19 active infections increase from March

Three times as many infections as one month ago, but no increase in deaths

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Apr 8, 2021

On March 8, 2021, Emmet County reported 29 active infections of COVID-19, with cases continuing to decline to a low of 26 on March 11. The county’s highest point of active infections was November 30 with 286 active cases.

As of Wednesday, April 7, the county had 99 active infections, over three times the number of a month ago. There have not been any deaths reported in Emmet County from COVID-19 since February, and the number has remained steady at 40. Six Emmet County residents have been hospitalized this first week of April. Also as of Wednesday morning, prior to the immunization clinic Emmet County Public Health held Wednesday evening, 2,171 county residents are fully vaccinated with seven of those completing the one-dose, Johnson & Johnson immunization.

In a press conference Wednesday, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds encouraged Iowans to take the first COVID-19 vaccine available to them. As on Wednesday, 1.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Iowa and 28% of Iowans are now fully vaccinated, causing Iowa to rank ninth out of 50 states in the U.S.

“Also this week, we have received our biggest vaccine allocation to date, with 160,770 total doses between those that have been sent to the local public health departments and pharmacies that are participating in the federal vaccination program. Included in that allocation are 45,800 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and that’s almost as many doses this week than what’s been administered in total since it first became available,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the White House COVID-19 response team informed governors that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses would have a significant reduction in available doses next week and lower allocations of the one-dose vaccine would be expected through the end of April.

“So now that the vaccination is open to all Iowans, we have an opportunity, and really we have a responsibility, to change that. So, I’m asking Iowans. If you’re comfortable, please take the first vaccine that’s offered to you, rather than wait for one that you believe is better than the others. Every one of the vaccines are safe and effective, especially, especially at preventing serious illness that can result in serious hospitalization and death,” Reynolds said.

Having said that, the governor took a stand against the vaccine passports that have been proposed.

A vaccine passport is a record of a traveler’s COVID-19-related health data, including whether they have been vaccinated or tested negative for the virus that causes it.

“While I believe in the efficacy of the vaccine enough to get it myself, and encourage Iowans to do the same, I also respect that it is a personal choice. But I strongly oppose vaccine passports and I believe that we must take a stand as a state against them, which I intend to do either through legislation or executive action,” Reynolds said.

Counties across Iowa have had a recent uptick in positive cases; these are attributed to young adults aged 18-24.

Reynolds said while many of them only experience mild symptoms, they risk spreading it to others, particularly their older family members. Reynolds said the highest percentage of current hospitalizations are middle-aged Iowans.

The state is meeting its goal of having COVID-19 vaccinations open to all Iowans aged 16 and up by this week.