Nationwide the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, in on the rise again. Locally, 81 counties in Iowa have a positivity rate of over 15% per 1000 capita. At the Anamosa state prison there are nearly 500 cases within the inmate population and more then 50 within the staff. And, Unity Point hospital and clinics in Des Moines has reached its capacity as sated on KCRG.com.
What does the rising numbers mean for Kirkwood Community College students and staff? According Kirkwood’s President Dr. Lori Sundburg, in a recorded address for the study body, “Staff and students need to be as vigilant as possible with masks and social distancing.”
She added, it will help our community and our Kirkwood community and it will help keep people safer.
Sundburg also said that Kirkwood has two goals, one to keep classes labs and clinicals open and in person until Thanksgiving and the second is to keep classes labs and clinicals going and in person until the end of term in December.
Some classes and labs have already been affected. Lauri Hughes, academic department coordinator of Nursing, said, “Some clinicals were paused at Mercy Hospital when there was small outbreak of COVID-19 amongst staff.”
She also said that her students “were disappointed during the pause because they wanted to help people.”
In a Zoom meeting for local reporters on Nov. 12, Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis said she has written a letter to the Governor Kim Reynolds requesting more testing sites as possible COVID-19 cases are waiting two to three days for a testing appointment.
She said she is also requesting that schools be able to act more quickly during the pandemic to go online rather than apply for a waiver from the governor. Mathis said, “We can do this. Wear a mask, thank a teacher and answer the phone when the contract tracer calls.”
Some schools have already applied for waivers. According to Superintendent of the Cedar Rapids School District Noreen Bush, there has been more than 350 cases of COVID-19 among teachers and other staff in the last few weeks.
Case have also been on the rise throughout Linn County. Heather Meador of the Linn County Public Health said that Linn County “has averaged 368 COVID-19 cases per day.”
Meador also stated that anyone needing assistance getting food while in quarantine to contact Linn County Public Health.
Meador also said “Stay home even you think what you might have is allergies.”
What Students Can Do
Wash hands often
Stay home from school and other public places when sick
Stay in contact with a teacher when a class must be missed
Sanitize your desk or work area on campus
Sanitize your debit cards regularly
Social distance and wear masks whenever possible