Coronavirus cases on the decline in Pottawattamie County

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:04:13-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) - Medical professionals at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs say the decline in COVID positivity rates is a "welcomed relief" for health care workers.

Most people in Council Bluffs say they are excited to return to some normalcy after a trying year.

"I lost a good part of my family, but I think this pandemic teaches me to appreciate more, my relatives," Ingrid Dominguez said.

Medical professionals say they are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think Pottawattamie County right now is running about 3.6 percent positivity rate which is under our ten percent goal, which shows us a low to moderate transmission in this area," infection preventionist Elizabeth Budge-Neal said.

Budge-Neal says the county is sitting around a vaccination rate of 50 percent. The trends are on the same decline as the rest of the country.

"There's a lot of us still without immunity, and that still can transmit disease," Budge-Neal said. "We're also seeing interseasonal viruses pop up this time of year that we usually only see in the fall time, viruses like RSV or parainfluenza virus, rhinovirus."

Vice President of Patient Care Denise McNitt wants to remind the public hospitals are working to get back to a pre-COVID state but the hospital and many health care facilities still require staff and visitors to wear masks.

"We have a lot of sick people, our beds are still full. They may not be full with COVID patients but we're still very busy," McNitt said.

McNitt is reassuring there is still a lot to look forward to.

"Just watching the incident level drop and drop and drop week after week, it's creating a lot of hope," McNitt said.

CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs created a zen room where staff can get away and relax. It's a popular amenity for medical workers and more than 700 people use it each month.

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