County facilities move to by-appointment-only

In a memo sent to county staff Monday, county administrators announced that all Tama County facilities will move to by-appointment-only access to the public beginning Nov. 3.

The move comes as COVID-19 positivity rates are on the rise in Tama County.

County departments will continue to operate and will be available by phone while in-person access is restricted.

The restriction will not have an impact on Election Day voting as all polling places will remain open as originally scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tama County Board of Supervisors plan to assess the situation weekly to determine when and how county facilities might be able to safely open back up to the public.

Tama County Public Health announced Saturday afternoon that the county’s total COVID-19 positive case count had risen to 1135.

On Saturday there were 24 new cases reported within 24 hours. The department noted Monday morning that additional cases had been reported on Sunday.

In Tama County there have been a total of 55 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the pandemic took hold.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Long Term Care Facilities Dashboard, two long term care centers in Tama County are still dealing with active outbreaks.

As of Monday morning, Sunrise Hill Care Center in Traer reported 35 total positive cases with 17 that have recovered. SunnyCrest Nursing Center in Dysart reported 11 total positive cases with four that have recovered.

Both care centers have been listed on the outbreak dashboard for multiple weeks.

Tama County Public Health issued this message Saturday along with their COVID-19 data:

“Please stay home if you do not feel well, many cases report they thought they were experiencing sinus infections, allergies or a little bit of a cold when their symptoms started. If you have been exposed, stay home. If you have tested and don’t have your results back yet, stay home.”

“Please do not attend large gatherings or hold large gatherings. Please wear a mask in public and practice social distancing. The schools, the long term care centers and health care workers beg you to make safe choices.”