A long-term care facility for older residents in Buena Vista County desperately sought nurses and certified nursing assistants last week after several of its residents were infected by the new coronavirus.
The county announced two outbreaks at care facilities on Wednesday at Good Samaritan Society in Newell and Pleasant View Nursing Home in Albert City.
The next day, local health officials put out an urgent call for help to staff the Albert City care center for two weeks.
People who are potentially infected often are asked to isolate at home for two weeks to be sure they don’t spread the virus.
As of Friday, there were six people infected at the Newell facility and three at the Albert City facility.
Buena Vista County surpassed 1,600 confirmed coronavirus cases last week and is the most-infected county in the state per capita. An outbreak at a meat-processing facility last month fueled a sharp rise in the county’s cases.
There are three other outbreaks at long-term care facilities in western Iowa, in Dickinson, Montgomery and Woodbury counties.
Dickinson County is home to the Iowa Great Lakes and has had a surge in new cases since people gathered there for the Memorial Day weekend. The county had about 20 cases at the time but was approaching 200 late last week.
The number of confirmed cases in Carroll County recently tripled after the state expanded testing availability.
St. Anthony Regional Hospital gained access to hundreds more test kits from the state and is conducting drive-through testing of residents at its parking lot on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. People can schedule a free test through TestIowa.com.