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Cerro Gordo County Public Health director says “next six months probably going to be most difficult” with COVID

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health Director says after the downturn in COVID-19 activity in the last few months, concerns are rising every day about the spread of the Delta variant of the virus.

Brian Hanft says just like in the fall and early winter of 2020, people should be aware of COVID in the community.  “Honestly I thought in July we were really going to start to calm down and this escalation I think is going to hit us pretty hard. I anticipate that this next six months probably are going to be the most difficult six months that we’ve had to endure. Again, we are reaching out to those people who haven’t been vaccinated and we’re continuing to work with schools and kids.”

Hanft says the vast majority of those hospitalized with COVID have not been vaccinated. “That number is rolling right around 95% of the people in the hospital for COVID are unvaccinated. There are situations where people who have received their full suite of vaccinations, there are cases where they are ending up in the intensive care unit. I don’t want to lie to the public, but from what I understand the vaccination definitely increases your chances of not ending up in the intensive care unit, but right now, the people who are there are predominantly people who have not received the vaccine.”

 Hanft made his comments during this morning’s meeting of the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health as of midday today (Tuesday), there are currently 21 people hospitalized for COVID in the north-central medical region. Nine new cases were admitted to the hospital between Sunday and today. Five of those 21 patients are in an intensive care unit, with four of those five being on a ventilator. 

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