Further breakdown of COVID-19 case counts requested by Waukon councilman shows concentration of Allamakee County cases

Through his experience as a State of Iowa employee and his leverage as an elected city official, Waukon City Councilman John Ellingson has helped secure the consistent reporting of case count updates from Allamakee County Public Health broken down by zip code within the county. Allamakee County Public Health receives its information from the Iowa Department of Public Health but admitted to Ellingson that there may be a lag time of several days between the complexity of numbers reported to Allamakee County Public Health and the overall more general information the State of Iowa is updating on a daily basis on its website dedicated to coronavirus statistics and information, www.coronavirus.iowa.gov.

Case in point is the first update Ellingson received Monday, May 11 which reported 97 total cases in Allamakee County, while the State of Iowa website reported the Allamakee County case count Monday, May 11 at 112 as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 10. The State of Iowa update on its coronavirus website last listed Allamakee County at 97 cases back on May 3, although other factors besides lag time may factor into that case count difference as well.

Still, Ellingson says the focus of his inquiry for a further breakdown was to see where the positive case counts in Allamakee County are located in what he describes as an effort to give Allamakee County residents the opportunity to “use this information to make safe decisions for you and your families.” Although the specific calculations in numbers may not necessarily match up time-wise, the purpose of Ellingson’s inquiry shows what he intended, where of those 97 cases he received as confirmed in Allamakee County, nearly 90% of those cases (87) were located within the Postville zip code, with no other Allamakee County communities reporting more than three confirmed cases and the communities of Dorchester and Harpers Ferry each reporting no confirmed cases out of those 97 reported.

Also of noted interest in the numbers reported is that of the 97 cases reported, more than three-fourths (74) of all Allamakee County cases are now considered as recovered, with 68 of those residing within the Postville zip code. Postville also had two cases still hospitalized, with Waukon and New Albin each having one case hospitalized as of the report Ellingson received Monday, May 11. When one also factors in the four virus-related deaths in Allamakee County, that leaves 15 confirmed cases considered active and recovering at home as of that Monday reporting.

No matter what the case count may reflect, city, county and health officials all agree that the numbers should not be perceived as a reason to lessen any of the personal mitigation measures that have been in place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and following established guidelines are still of the utmost importance to controlling further spread of the virus.

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