It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm
The COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States do not use the live virus and cannot cause COVID-19. The goal of any vaccine is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight a virus. However, symptoms such as fever can occur after you get a vaccine. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/how-they-work.html
You won’t get test positive on viral tests used to see if you have a current infection after getting the vaccine. However, some antibody tests might show you had a previous COVID-19 infection. This is because your body develops an immune response to the vaccine. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results. Learn more about COVID-19 testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html
While COVID-19 may only cause a mild illness for some, others may get a severe illness, or they may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without getting sick. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/how-they-work.html
Messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, and is most easily described as instructions for your body to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html
It is true that vaccine supply has been limited. To help guide decisions about how to distribute limited initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations for which groups should be vaccinated first. Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once the vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers. In the meantime continue to wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and don’t gather with those outside of your household.
The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like the flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days and are nothing compared to the immediate and long-term effects of getting sick with COVID-19. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination. Read more about what to expect: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. Read more here: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-patients/index.html
It will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC's recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. To read more go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
Whether you have been vaccinated or not, it is still important to practice the 3 W’s while we wait for everyone to be vaccinated. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. For more information on prevention go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once the vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers. Follow this FB page, as well as blackhawkcovid19.com for local vaccine updates.
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, however flu vaccination is readily available, and has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Once COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, the community is encouraged to get vaccinated. Follow this FB page, as well as blackhawkcovid19.com for local vaccine updates.
Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19. But it's not clear how long this protection lasts. Because reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications, it's recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve had COVID-19, wait until 90 days after your diagnosis to get a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. This is referred to as Phase 1a. For more information on Vaccine recommendations go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html
Because vaccine is limited initially, there is a need to phase in distribution to provide immunization in an orderly fashion. The CDC recommends three groups in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The groups may overlap depending on vaccine availability and timing of delivery. More information on the groups 1-a, 1-b and 1-c can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html
The second group, called 1-b, includes frontline essential workers (fire fighters, police and corrections officers, food, agricultural, manufacturing and grocery store workers, and those who work in the educational sector) as well as people aged 75 years and older. Group 1-c includes people aged 65—74 years, people aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers not already covered. For a full list of the vaccine groups visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations.html
After the priority groups in phase one have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and depending on distribution and availability, the plan is to move to more wide-spread vaccinations. The goal is for everyone who wants one, to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large enough quantities are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, the groups recommended for vaccination will expand and the CDC will communicate this. For more information on the vaccines visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/
There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
A claim circulating on social media is that the COVID-19 mortality rate is 1-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely based on age, sex, and underlying health conditions. I n contrast, clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have shown only short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Learn more about vaccine safety: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally, including the United States, and Iowa. Community spread has been confirmed throughout Black Hawk County.
From person-to-person by respiratory droplets, similar to seasonal flu. Respiratory droplets are droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes that can contain the virus. The virus spreads when droplets get into a person's mouth, nose, or eyes. People are considered the most contagious from 2 days before symptom onset until 10 days after. Spread is more likely when people are in prolonged close contact with one another (within about 6 feet for at least 15 minutes).
If someone in your immediate household is ill with COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home and isolate away from the person who is ill. When you are home you should isolate away from your ill household member, wear a face covering if you need to be around them, regularly clean particularly high touch or shared services, and use separate bathrooms is possible. You should remain home until your household member has received a negative test result or has been told they do not have COVID-19 by a health care provider. If your household member tests positive you should quarantine at home. Quarantining at home for 14 days is the most effective option to reduce the risk of spread ofCOVID-19, and the health department recommends that anyone who needs to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19 quarantine at home for the full 14 days after exposure if you are able to. However if you are unable to quarantine for the full 14 days after exposure, the following CDC guidance can be used to shorten how long you need to quarantine.
If you are able to isolate away from each other in the home, then the last time you were in close contact would be the day you started isolating away from the person who is ill. If you are not able to isolate at home then the last time you are in close contact is not until the day the ill person no longer needs to isolate (10 days after onset of symptoms or day of positive test, and 24 hours fever free, and symptoms improving).
It is important that if you are ill with fever or respiratory symptoms (cough or difficulty breathing) that you remain home and isolate from others in the home. You should remain isolated at home until:
These are recommendations that all ill Iowans should follow regardless of whether or not they have been tested for COVID-19.
Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Contact your health care provider by phone for guidance about care for your symptoms. Iowans who do not qualify for a test from their provider may be able to receive a free test through a Test Iowa site (https://www.testiowa.com/en).
Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately, and should call their health care provider before going in to be seen. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their health care provider early, even for mild illnesses.
Iowans should stay at home and isolate themselves from other people and animals in the home in the following situations. Quarantine should be in place for 14 days after the last exposure.
People in self isolation should:
Family members or other persons who reside in your home may remain in your home, but you should stay in a specific room away from others in your home and use a separate bathroom (if available). As long as you remain healthy, the other persons in your home can go about their daily activities as normal (there is no restriction on their movement).
If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home.
To more accurately reflect the data our team is monitoring, we will be publishing PCR and Serology (antibody testing) positive cases, along with the number of recovered cases and deaths. As testing becomes more widely available, we want to provide the public with more data since these numbers are widely circulated on social media. For a more extensive look at the data, click here.
In an effort to publish the most up to date information on local numbers, the Black Hawk County Department of Health reports COVID-19 cases as it's available. The Black Hawk County Department of Health reported cases include positive PCR tests, positive serology tests, and symptomatic close contacts of cases. As a result, the county’s data may differ from the state’s reported cases.
The 3 C's:
Clean: Clean your hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizing gel when water is not available.
Cover: Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or elbow.
Contain: Contain germs by staying home with ill. Don't go to school, work, shopping, or other outside activities while you are sick.
Residents should prepare for the potential of COVID-19 in the same way they prepare for severe weather or other events that could disrupt their normal routine. This includes making a plan and discussing it with your family. Some questions to consider when planning are: What would you do if you could not go to work or school because of illness? What if your day care provider was ill? How would you get groceries if you were ill?
If you are sick: You should not leave you home, if you are even mildly ill, except to seek medical care, and should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
If you are NOT sick: Studies have indicated that some people with coronavirus don’t have any symptoms, and that even those who later develop symptoms can pass the virus to others before showing symptoms. Because of this evidence, wearing cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing measures are difficult (like grocery stores and pharmacies) should be done to help further slow the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a cloth face covering in public can help protect others, it does not protect the wearer from being exposed. Cloth face coverings can be quickly and inexpensively made from an old t-shirt, a bandana, hand towel or scarf, and rubber bands. You should avoid touching or adjusting your cloth face mask while in public, clean your hands immediately if you do have to touch it, and launder the mask after each use and when it is visibly soiled. Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitution for following social distancing guidelines.
The safest thing to do is to stay home, but if you do decide to travel, testing can help you do so more safely. You and your travel companions may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others in busy travel environments like in airports, and bus and train stations. You can also spread it to family, friends, and your community after travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can help make travel safer. If you have traveled internationally to a country at a Level 2 or higher travel health notice you should stay home after returning from travel. The CDC updates travel guidance and travel health notices regularly, so check here for the most up-to-date information.
COVID-19 virus is circulating across the United States. The safest thing to do is to stay home, but if you do decide to travel, testing can help you do so more safely. You and your travel companions may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others in busy travel environments like in airports, and bus and train stations. You can also spread it to family, friends, and your community after travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can help make travel safer.
Community Spread: Occurs where individuals have been infected with the virus in an area and cannot specifically identify the source of the infection, or do not know how or where they became infected (e.g. cannot tie the illness to a specific event, like a cruise).
Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings or other congregate settings, and maintaining distance (6ft) from others when possible. Personal social distancing measures include avoiding large gatherings or limiting the number of attendees, or distance or remote work, or online learning.
Individuals 60 years old or older with underlying conditions should stay home and avoid gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel to affected areas.
Reduce activities (group congregation, religious services, etc.), especially for organizations with individuals with underlying health conditions.
Encourage staff to telework when feasible, particularly individuals at increased risk of severe illness. Limit non-essential work travel and gatherings.
Effective Thursday, Dec. 17 at 12:01 a.m. through Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 11:59 p.m.
Mask Use: Indoor spaces open to the public & State executive branch buildings
Masks required when individuals are within 6 feet of one another for 15 minutes or longer with certain exceptions
Gathering Restrictions: Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings
Ensure 6-feet distance between groups or individuals attending alone
These restrictions apply to wedding receptions, family gatherings, conventions, and other nonessential gatherings but do not apply to gatherings that occur during the ordinary course of business or government
Sporting and Recreational Events: except for high school, college, and professional sports
Only two spectators for each youth or adult athlete, cheerleader, pep band member, or organizer staff, unless all spectators are from the same household , must wear a mask and maintain 6 feet distance from other spectators.
Youth and adult participants can be closer than 6 feet and are not required to wear masks
High School Sports & Extracurriculars: Sporting, recreational, and extracurricular events
Only two spectators for each youth or adult athlete, cheerleader, pep band member, or organizer staff, unless all spectators are from the same household , must wear a mask and maintain 6 feet distance from other spectators.
Students participating can be closer than six feet and are not required to wear masks
Restaurants and Bars : Restaurant or bar, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club
Masks required when not seated at a table, booth, or bar (while playing games, dancing, etc.)
Six feet distancing between groups
Groups limited to 8 people unless larger group is all same household
Seated when eating or drinking and limit congregating
Fitness Centers: Fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms
Group fitness activities are allowed if a 6-foot distance is maintained
Casinos & Gaming Facilities:
Masks required except when seated to eat or drink.
Closer/Prolonged Contact Establishments: Bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers
Mask required when not seated to eat or drink
Ensure that groups and individuals are six feet apart at establishment
Groups limited to eight people unless larger group is all same household
A hospital must reserve at least 10% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 10% of medical/surgical beds for COVID-19 patients.
According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, with an average of 4-5 days. People with these symptoms or a combination of symptoms my have COVID-19:
CALL YOUR DOCTOR: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
People who are a close contact to a confirmedcase of COVID-19, or traveled to or live in an area of ongoing community spread of COVID-19, and develop symptoms of COVID-19 should call their health care provider to determine whether or not they should be tested. Mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance about care for their symptoms.
To see if you qualify for a free viral test for COVID-19 through Test Iowa click here.
Health care providers, with guidance from CDC and public health, will determine who should be tested and prioritize patients for testing.
Federal resources are being announced daily to assist all Americans and the health care systems with testing.
You can find more information about federal resources as well as Medicare and Medicaid coverage here: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/disaster-response-toolkit/covid19/index.html
In Iowa, tests that are sent to SHL are provided at no cost and considered a test of public health significance. Private lab testing may incur a fee. Many health insurance companies are already waiving fees for the testing if a health care provider determines that a test is needed. Check your insurance provider’s webpage or hotline for your individual coverage.
If you are ill with COVID-19 you should stay home except to get medical care, prohibit any visitors, and separate yourself from family members and common areas as much as possible. If you need to be around other people you should wear a face mask, and you should avoid sharing household items. Monitor your symptoms, and if they start to get worse call your doctor before going in to be seen.
Sick people should not care for infants or other people at high risk for complications of COVID-19.
The sick person should stay in a room separate from family members and away from the common areas of the house. For example, a spare bedroom with its own bathroom, if possible. Keep the bedroom door closed.
If possible, sick persons should use a separate bathroom. This bathroom should be cleaned daily with regular household disinfectant.
Other household members, especially those at high risk for complications of COVID-19, should not come within six feet of the person who is ill.
Have the sick person wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, if they need to be in a common area of the house near other persons.
All persons in the household should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub frequently, including after every contact with the sick person or the person’s room or bathroom.
Use paper towels for drying hands after hand washing, or have separate cloth towels for each person in the household. For example, have different colored towels for each person.
Maintaining good ventilation in common areas of the house (e.g., keeping windows open in restrooms, kitchen, keep vent going in bathroom, etc.).