Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Baker and Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol are encouraging residents to closely monitor current reports related to the COVID-19 outbreak and to make responsible, personal decisions on how they can practice personal “social distancing” to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and minimize illness and death. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, activating the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan. The proclamation authorizes state agencies to utilize resources including personnel, equipment and facilities to perform activities necessary to prevent, contain and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Based on current information, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dubuque County. Local public health officials continue to work with local healthcare providers and are in frequent communication with Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials as statewide, national, and international conditions evolve. Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures can include limiting large groups of people coming together, including canceling events. Many local and regional educational institutions, special events, and businesses are announcing efforts to encourage social distancing and advise patrons on staying home when they are ill. “We’re encouraging all Dubuque County residents, especially our senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, to think carefully about attending events and large gatherings,” said Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Baker. “This is a very serious situation and we all need to follow the advice of our public health officials and healthcare providers and practice common sense.” “The number one priority of local government is public safety and public health is public safety,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol. “While government and healthcare have obvious roles in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, so does the public. I encourage residents to think carefully about how they can make good decisions to help prevent the spread of the virus.” The Dubuque County Health Department and City of Dubuque Health Services Department encourage residents to rely on information regarding COVID-19 from the IDPH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. They also recommend individual residents take these action steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact (at least 6 feet distance) with people who are sick or experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Take social distancing measures. Restrict where and when you gather with others.
For Dubuque County specific information, call the Dubuque Visiting Nurses Association at 563.556.6200 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), the Dubuque County Health Department at 563.557.7396 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), or the City of Dubuque Health Services Department at 563.589.4181(8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday).