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Cerro Gordo health department prepares for Coronavirus

This news story was published on February 28, 2020.
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MASON CITY – CG Public Health is advising residents about what they can do now to prepare for the potential spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. To date, no one in Iowa has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Since the start of this outbreak, CG Public Health has worked closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to monitor potential cases of COVID-19,” said CG Public Health Director Brian Hanft. “We have and will continue to meet with our local response partners like Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management, Mason City Fire Department, MercyOne North Iowa, to be ready in case the virus does come to Iowa.”

There are things all residents can do to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Contain germs by staying home when ill

The Centers of Disease and Control (CDC) is not recommending general face mask use. 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. 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 your medications or groceries if you were ill? These are all questions to consider. For a list of what you can do to be prepared is located on the home page of our website at

Symptoms of the COVID-19 in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Please note there are no cases of COVID-19 or community spread of the virus currently in Iowa.

CG Public Health will continue to monitor and provide updates as the situation changes.


For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit and follow IDPH on Facebook (@IowaDepartmentofPublicHealth) and Twitter (@IAPublicHealth).

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10 Responses to Cerro Gordo health department prepares for Coronavirus

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 1, 2020 at 8:35 am

    The dangers of coronavirus have been exaggerated and no context of the difference between our medical care and the areas where it is ravaging have been blurred. Stories about surgical mask shortages are common, but rarely, if ever, mention that wearing one won’t protect the healthy from any type infection, that they’re only effective when worn by sick people. They are good at stopping sick people from getting others sick because they breathe, cough, and sneeze right into them. They aren’t effective in preventing the well from ingesting the virus because they don’t create a seal around every orifice through which the virus can enter.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 1, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Not true. N95 masks are required by law in many workplaces because they work. it’s theoretically possible to get sick from inhaling one single virus, but in reality this is unlikely, and the guy taking a breath containing a thousand viruses are more likely to get sick than the guy who only got 50 because his mask caught the rest.

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        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 2, 2020 at 8:23 am

        be that as it may. the cdc still do not recommend masks unless you are ill or caring for someone who is ill. while your point is valid, masks can actually INCREASE risk of infection if poorly fitted and the user frequently has to readjust them, touching his face with potentially contaminated hands.

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 29, 2020 at 6:18 am

    is the county going to buy masks from china to protect
    us from it

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 28, 2020 at 10:56 am

    This would not be a problem if we did the intelligent thing. As soon as anyone knew not a single boat or plane should have left china. At the same time anyone with symptoms should have been taken to a large scale incinerator and destroyed. It could have been contained in red china where people deserve to die. Now it’s coming here spreading here and about to kill real people. Does that seem ok? We need to use the third world for what it’s for, it’s a great place to leave the sick and the diseased. This way they dont plague us infect us or just generally cause us to feel bad for them. Everyone suspected of having this virus should be set on fire for the greater good. Sorry but my healthy non infected self is far more important and I deserve to stay this way. I dont deserve to get sick because some person wanted to go to third world shithola communist country. When you leave america for 2and and third worlds countries you get what you deserve. You shouldnt be going to those places anyhow.