State and local health officials reported 68 new cases of the novel coronavirus throughout Story County from Friday at 10 a.m. to Monday at 10 a.m.


Since last Monday, 172 cases have been confirmed by health officials, which is higher than the number of cases reported from March 20 through May 31. Since the beginning of June, there has been a surge of positive cases in Story County: 550 cases or 81% of the county’s total number of cases have been reported.


Despite the number of cases increasing throughout the month of June, the number of deaths and hospitalizations in the county has remained low. Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health, said the hospital only has a couple of people currently admitted due to COVID-19, which has been fairly consistent throughout the pandemic.


Sullivan also confirmed the additional 68 cases that the state reported but did not have any immediate information about where they were tested or their current status.


In light of a recent rise of cases throughout Story County, several local businesses have decided to reclose their doors to the public over the last week.


On Friday, Mary Greeley Medical Center announced that it was reinstating a strict no visitor policy because of the recent surge.


“In response to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Story County, Mary Greeley Medical Center will re-institute visitor restrictions effective at 6 p.m. (Friday, June 26). Under the restrictions, no visitors will be allowed with few exceptions,” Sullivan said in a news release sent to the Tribune on Friday.


Other businesses like West Towne Pub in west Ames and Macubana and Cafe Beaudelaire in Campustown announced they are reclosing for the time being.


“We have taken many precautions during this pandemic with hourly sanitation, having our employees wear masks, gloves, and taking employee temperatures from the start and will continue to do so to protect our patrons,” West Towne Pub wrote in a Facebook post on June 21.


The restaurant has since reopened on June 24 but announced it was reclosing on June 26.


As of 10 a.m. on Monday, state health officials were reporting 298 new cases throughout the state, as well as three additional deaths since the state’s tally at 10 a.m. on Sunday.


Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Iowa at the beginning of March, 28,728 state residents tested positive for the virus, which has resulted in 707 deaths, according to the state’s tally at 10 a.m. Monday.


Throughout Story County over 7,450 residents have been tested for the novel coronavirus, with about 9% of the tests coming back positive, according to IDPH’s coronavirus website.


As of 10 a.m. Monday, of the nearly 700 cases throughout the county, 178 individuals have fully recovered, according to state health officials.