SIOUX CENTER—As of noon Monday, June 1, Sioux County had a total count of 283 positive COVID-19 cases with 130 who have recovered.
Since mid-March, Sioux Center Health CEO Cory Nelson said 50 of those positive cases were confirmed through testing at Sioux Center Health, which has tested a total of 242 individuals using the nasal swab technique. A total of 191 came back negative. One tests in that past week was inconclusive.
“If person doesn’t have symptoms for very long, their viral load can be low so taking the test doesn’t confirm or deny having the virus so that person had to be rested,” said Sioux Center Health CEO Cory Nelson.
All samples taken locally are sent on to the state testing lab or an Avera Health lab.
Although Sioux Center Health had five people with positive tests hospitalized during Memorial Day weekend, those patients since went home, resulting in no hospitalizations at Sioux Center Health within the past week.
Test Iowa set up in Sioux Center on Wednesday, May 27, and is slated to be in the community through Friday.
Because it’s state run, the hospital, too, is waiting to hear results back from how that testing is going. However, he suspects Test Iowa’s presence may be the reason for a lower call volume to Sioux Center Health’s COVID-19 Call Center (712-722-8324) , which had 202 calls in the past week compared to 299 — its second highest call volume — just two weeks ago.
Nelson also noted the hospital saw 62 patients in its respiratory clinic within the past week compared to 91 the previous week.
One change Sioux Center Health made effective May 27 was no visitors to Royale Meadows, Franken Manor or Crown Pointe. Before that date, visitors could stop by outside rooms and chat with residents through window screens. As of last week Wednesday, that was no longer an option. All visits had to be via phone conversation.
“We made that decision due to the increased cases in Sioux County and to ensure the health and safety of our residents,” Nelson said. “Our senior campus contains our most vulnerable residents, and with more outbreaks in longterm care settings in Iowa, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect that populations.”
Nelson said it’s a challenging decision to make.
“Sometimes it feels like a no win situation for everyone involved in it,” he said. “We continue to evaluate the situation each week.”
However, Wednesday, June 3, Sioux Center Health is resuming regular hours of 8:30-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at its satellite clinics in Hawarden and Hull.
The hospital will continue to look at its urgent care volume to determine when to resume its regular hours as well. Nelson is hopeful for that to happen this summer.
“We know when sports get going and people start doing more outside there’s a need for urgent care,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to slowly open the hospital back up and get things close to normal as we can.”