Health department reports Story County’s 170th COVID case this week

David Mullen
Staff Writer
State health officials announced Story County's 170th case this week, the highest over a seven-day span to date. File photo

Over the last 24 hours, 45 new cases have emerged in Story County, according to state health officials.

In the last week, Story County has seen an increase of 170 cases, which is the highest number of verified cases in the county over a seven day span to date.

Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health, confirmed the additional cases, but did not have any additional information about the individuals, other than the majority of them have been in the 19 to 25 age range.

“We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in Story County over the last few weeks, with a high number in the 19-25 year old range. This trend reminds everyone of the importance of taking necessary safety precautions — wash your hands regularly, avoid large crowds, stay home if you are ill, and please wear a mask, especially in public places like grocery stores,” said Story County Public Health’s Director Les White in an email statement to the Tribune.

From March 20 through May 31, health officials reported only 127 positive cases throughout the county, however, since the start of June there has been a surge as the Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 247 new cases since the beginning of the month.

Since June 1, Bethany Life, a long-term care facility based out of Story City reported the county’s first care facility outbreak, which has resulted in nine residents and three staff members testing positive for the virus. Of the nine residents, two have died as a result of the virus, but five have fully recovered as of Friday, said Bethany Life’s CEO Betsy Warburton.

On June 12, Iowa State University’s athletic department announced that ten student-athletes have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including two Cyclone football players.

Mike Green, assistant athletic director for communications did not have an update on Friday.

“Athletics has no additional update at this time,” Green wrote in an emailed statement to the Tribune. “Should there be an appropriate time for an update, athletics will provide it.”

On Wednesday, the New York Times listed Ames as the fifth highest average daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases throughout the United States. As of Friday, Ames had moved down three spots to eighth in the country as cases have doubled every 9.2 days, according to the Times.

Throughout the state, 392 new cases have been reported by health officials over the last 24 hours, as well as three additional deaths.

Since the pandemic was first reported in Iowa in March, a total of 25,164 state residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus which has resulted in the deaths of 680 Iowans.

Throughout Story County, nearly 5,000 county residents have been tested for the virus and are testing positive at a 7.6% rate, according to the state health department.

Of the nearly 400 cases reported in the county, 135 individuals have fully recovered as of Friday at 11:30 a.m.