MASON CITY — 14 and a half months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is starting to scale things back.
CG Public Health director Brian Hanft says things are slowing down in a good way with the 14-day positivity rate for the county continuing to decline at just over four percent, only one new death since the first days of May, and COVID-related hospitalizations low. Hanft says that’s been helped by a majority of the county’s population being vaccinated. “We have 82.2% of those 65 and older are fully vaccinated. 56.4% of Cerro Gordo County’s population 18 and over are fully vaccinated.”
Hanft says with demand decreasing for the vaccine, they are starting to shut down the mass vaccination clinic in the former Sears store on Mason City’s south side. “We’re really winding down. We’re looking at a demobilization plan for the mass clinic itself, which should be concluded by the end of next week, so I’ve formalized and notified the owner of the building that we’ll be completely out of there by the end of June.”
Hanft says with things starting to wrap up, they want to reflect back on how things were handled since a year ago March for when the next pandemic happens. “We’re working on an after-action plan, which is going to be a massive undertaking, just trying to pull together a year-and-a-half’s worth of response and try to document I think for literally the next century, the next generation who has to deal with this, we owe public health a solid report on lessons learned and sort of thing. Because we have so many partners involved, that’s going to take quite a bit of time.”
Hanft made his comments to the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors earlier today. He says they will have a vaccine clinic on Friday from 9:00 AM to noon for those needing first and second shots, and on Saturday a clinic from 9:00-11:00 AM will be mainly geared toward the community’s Spanish-speaking population.