Story County surpasses 800 total cases, many new cases linked to Accura Healthcare of Ames

David Mullen
Staff Writer
Health officials reported 15 new cases over the last 24-hours in Story County, as the number of new cases continues to decline compared to the month of June. File Photo.

Health officials confirmed Wednesday that Story County surpassed 800 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Seven of the 15 newly reported cases, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, were identified to be within Accura Healthcare of Ames, which was reported to have an outbreak of COVID-19 on July 2. As of Wednesday at 10 a.m., a total of 19 residents or staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus website.

Lisa Toti, the long-term care facility’s vice president of strategic and organizational engagement, told the Tribune that 27 residents have been diagnosed with the virus as well as five staff members as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, which disputes the state’s website.

Previously, the state reported that Bethany Life, a long-term care facility in Story City, had 20 cases verified within their facility. However, Bethany Life’s CEO Betsy Warburton said on July 2, that there had been a total of 21 cases, including residents and staff. Two residents died, and all of the other individuals have recovered, the Tribune previously reported.

Multiple attempts to reach officials at the Iowa Department of Public Health to ask about those discrepancies have been unsuccessful.

Toti told the Tribune on Monday that all 68 residents at the facility, as well as all of its staff, had been tested for the virus and were awaiting results.

Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health, confirmed the additional 15 cases on Wednesday.

He added that there are currently five patients admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19.

State health officials reported 414 new cases of the novel coronavirus, and an additional seven deaths are due to the virus.

Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported by state health officials in March, more than 32,000 state residents have tested positive, which has led to the deaths of 732 Iowans, including three Story County residents.

Throughout the county, nearly 8,900 residents have been tested for the virus and are testing positive at a 9.1% rate.

Of the 808 cases that have been verified by state and local health officials, 405 — a little over half — have fully recovered, according to the state’s coronavirus website.