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PUBLIC HEALTH

Coronavirus spread approaches Carroll

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The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Iowa continues to accelerate, and the person-to-person spread is increasingly closer to Carroll County, according to new data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

A new case in Shelby County, which shares a corner with Carroll to the southwest, was confirmed in the past day.

And the number of new reported cases in the past day was 63, which followed day-to-day increases of 21, 34 and 56. The total confirmed cases in Iowa is now 298. Three people have died.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said this week that she hopes the number of new cases will plateau in the next week and suggested that the state will take further action to curb the spread if it doesn't.

She has so far resisted calls to order people to stay home because the virus has not posed a significant enough problem.

“Sheltering in place for two or three weeks will not cause the coronavirus to go away,” Reynolds said at an afternoon press conference on Tuesday.

Carroll County has one confirmed case, but it was two weeks ago and was not from local, person-to-person contact. That person was quarantined and has recovered.

Reynolds and state health officials are monitoring infection rates — especially among adults 65 and older — and how many of the cases require hospitalization, among other indicators of the virus' severity in Iowa.

This week, Reynolds extended the closures of fitness centers, pools, salons, theaters, casinos and others by one week to April 7. Restaurants and bars must continue to sell food and drinks for carryout or delivery.

She also ordered stores that exclusively sell books, clothing, jewelry, beauty products, flowers and furniture to close.

Non-essential medical and dental procedures have also been suspended until April 16.

Reynolds is set to hold her next press conference at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, which can be viewed on her official Facebook page.

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