Pottawattamie County Public Health reported 11 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. Nine are residents of Council Bluffs and PCPH is in the process of verifying the addresses of the remaining two.

One of the cases is a child (0-17); four of the cases are 18-40 years old; five are 41-60 years old; and one is 61-80 years old. These individuals were tested between May 9 and May 18. So far, 2,121 Pottawattamie County residents have been tested for COVID-19, and a total of 182 have tested positive.

An additional 12 people have recovered bringing the total of recoveries to 86. Currently, four individuals are hospitalized and 88 individuals are self-isolating. Based on PCPH contact tracing investigations, a total of 57 Pottawattamie County COVID-19 cases are the result of community spread.

For additional COVID-19 information, including case demographics filtered by county, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard at coronavirus.iowa.gov. The dashboard is updated daily and contains Iowa’s total number of cases, recoveries, deaths, tests conducted, and epidemiological curve.

Iowans are encouraged to go to testiowa.com and complete the assessment.

TestIowa is an initiative designed to increase the rate of COVID-19 testing in Iowa. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), contact your healthcare provider before going to the doctor’s office or an emergency room.

A look at the numbers in the region, based on data provided by the counties and coronavirus.iowa.gov:

Pottawattamie County -- 182 cases, 2,121 tests, 86 recoveries, 8.2% of those tested have come back positive

Mills County -- 12 cases, 485 tests, nine recoveries, 2.5%

Harrison County -- 18 cases, 329 tests, 17 recoveries, 5.5%

Shelby County -- 24 cases, 222 tests, 19 recoveries, 10.8%

Montgomery County -- five cases, 200 tests, five recoveries, 2.5%

Page County -- 10 cases, 446 tests, nine recoveries, 2.2%

Cass County -- two cases, 240 tests, one recovery, 0.8%

Monona County -- 16 cases, 250 tests, 13 recoveries, 6.4%

Crawford County -- 396 cases, 1,299 tests, 190 recoveries, one death, 30.5%

Fremont County -- four cases, 101 tests, one recovery, 4.0%

In Regional Medical Coordination Center region four, which includes Pottawattamie, Mills, Harrison, Cass, Crawford, Shelby, Fremont, Montgomery, Page, Adams, Audubon and Taylor Counties, there are five patients hospitalized. Three patients are in intensive care.

The region has 227 inpatient beds available, 40 intensive care beds available and 68 ventilators available. No hospitalized patients are on ventilators.

2020 Railroad Days canceled due to COVID-19

The annual Railroad Days event has been canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In a joint press release issued this morning, officials from the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum, Historic General Dodge House, Lauritzen Gardens and The Durham Museum, said they made the “difficult decision to cancel the event for the safety of the community.”

“It is with deep regret that we have to cancel this popular event that brings the community together to celebrate our region’s rich railroad heritage. Given the size and reach of the event, we felt it was the responsible decision to make in order to keep everyone safe,” Christi Janssen, executive director of The Durham Museum, said in the release.

The next Railroad Days is set for July 10-11, 2021.

Additional information about Railroad Days can be found at omaharailroaddays.com.

Reynolds considers allowing more Iowa public activities

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she is considering whether to allow additional activities to resume as her current proclamation prohibiting social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people expires next week.

“We’re continuing to see positive trends and so were going to continue to monitor that and look for opportunities to continue to bring more businesses online,” she said.

While Reynolds recently allowed restaurants, fitness centers, malls, hair salons, barber shops, and tanning facilities to reopen with limits on close contact and customer volume, she continued the closure for many other businesses. Those businesses include bars, casinos, movie theaters, bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades and amusement parks.

Her proclamation expires May 27.

State health officials reported more than 300 new positive cases Tuesday and 12 additional deaths, bringing the state totals to 15,296 known positive cases and 367 deaths.

Reynolds also said she will ask the federal government for an extension of the order that allows National Guard troops to assist with state coronavirus response missions while being paid with federal funds. An initial extension in the order authorizes their assignment through June and Reynolds said she plans to seek extension possibly through the end of July.

Information on COVID-19

Pottawattamie County Public Health has said daily: “Because we have community spread of COVID-19, individuals should be taking precautions to protect themselves. Stay home as much as possible, limit travel and shopping. If you must leave home, practice social distancing, and stay at least 6 feet away from others. Wash hands and disinfect frequently touched surfaces multiple times per day. If you are sick, self-isolate at home.”

Symptoms in people who have been exposed to conravirus can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Most people experience mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks.

Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Testing criteria is based on guidance from the Iowa Hygienic Lab or private lab guidelines. Pottawattamie County Public Health does not have a role in deciding who does and does not get tested.

Public health officials recommend:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Call your physician if symptoms appear.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

Methodist Health System is offering a community hotline and screening tool at 402-815-SICK (7425). CHI Health has a helpline to answer questions and direct patients who may be at high risk of the coronavirus illness. Visit chihealth.com for information.

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency has a COVID-19 call center open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 712-890-5368 or 712-890-5369.

For those struggling with mental health during the pandemic, yourlifeiowa.org has several resources, including a hotline at 855-581-8111 and a text-friendly line at 855-895-8398. Additionally, the Hope 4 Iowa Crisis Hotline connects individuals in crisis to a helping hand with the resources to address and improve mental wellness. The hotline is available 24 hours a day. Call 84-HOPE-4-IOWA (844-673-4469).

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has a COVID-19 screening app -- 1-Check COVID, enables users to answer a series of questions and assess their likelihood of having COVID-19. Based on the user’s input, the screening app will issue a “low-risk,” “urgent risk” or “emergent risk” assessment and guide the individual toward possible next steps.

Additionally, go to coronavirus.iow.gov, pcema-ia.org, and/or cdc.gov for more information.

-- Associated Press reporter David Pitt contributed to this report.

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