News Flash

COVID-19 Status Update

Posted on: April 16, 2021

Linn County COVID-19 Status Update

LINN COUNTY COVID-19 STATUS UPDATE

April 16, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

As of April 5, all Iowans age 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Information on Linn County vaccine providers can be found at LinnCounty.org/Vaccine. For vaccine providers in Iowa, visit the Vaccinate Iowa webpage. 

24-Hour COVID-19 Vaccination Event Begins Tomorrow

A large COVID-19 vaccine clinic is scheduled this weekend, April 17-18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Alliant Energy Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids, hosted by Reutzel Pharmacy in collaboration with Linn County Public Health and the Iowa Pharmacy Association.

This extended hours clinic will accommodate shift workers, individuals observing Ramadan, and other populations that may need flexible hours for scheduling a vaccine. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine will be administered during this vaccination clinic. Appointments for the first and second dose are required and can be made online. The second dose clinic will be held May 8-9, 2021, also as a 24-hour clinic. As of Friday, April 16, approximately 150 vaccine appointments are still available. Targeted outreach clinics for vulnerable populations are ongoing. 

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Pause

On Tuesday, April 13, the CDC and FDA issued a joint statement announcing an immediate pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. The pause was issued out of an abundance of caution after six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot were reported in women between the ages of 18 and 48 up to two weeks after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The Iowa Department of Public Health has stated none of these cases have been reported among Iowans. As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S.

The vaccine administration pause allows vaccine safety boards to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain in place until the review is complete. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is top priority among federal, state, and local health professionals, and all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination is taken very seriously. If any Iowan has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last month and presents with symptoms of severe headache, leg pain, abdominal pain, or shortness of breath, they should seek medical attention immediately either through their health care provider or urgent care or emergency department. 

Local public health and other vaccine providers are substituting Moderna and Pfizer vaccines where Johnson & Johnson was previously planned for use. 

Information on Linn County vaccine providers can be found at LinnCounty.org/Vaccine. For vaccine providers in Iowa, visit the Vaccinate Iowa webpage. 

For help with scheduling an appointment: 

  • Call Linn County COVID-19 call center at 319-892-6097.
  • Call 211 or 800-244-7431. Translation services are available.

For help with transportation to an appointment: 

Linn County will receive approximately 8,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine the week of April 19. 

Informational sessions about the COVID-19 vaccine are scheduled for April 17, 19 and 24. The session on April 24 will be held in Spanish. There is no fee or registration required and the sessions are open to all. Full details and links to each session can be found here: https://www.iowacovidinfo.org/

Vaccine Distribution Highlights

  • All Iowans age 16 and older became eligible on April 5, 2021 
  • Vaccination progress among select populations as of April 9 
    • 79.9% of the Linn County population age 75 and older had begun or completed COVID-19 vaccination
    • 81.1% of the Linn County population age 65 and older had begun or completed COVID-19 vaccination
    • 50.9% of eligible Linn County residents have either started or completed the vaccine series
      • Eligible Linn County residents are all residents 16 years of age and older, which is 180,375 people
    • 40.5% of the entire Linn County population have either started or completed the vaccine series
  • A report of COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Dashboard by county is posted at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/ 

Vaccine FAQs

For questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County:

  • Visit LinnCounty.org/Vaccine
  • Call 319-892-6097
  • Older adults may call 211 for help from a vaccine navigator with scheduling an appointment for vaccine and transportation needs. 

Please sign up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 Status Updates to keep up-to-date on vaccine rollout updates and other important information regarding COVID-19 response. For assistance with signing up for updates, view this video. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 vaccine website LinnCounty.org/Vaccine, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097. Stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information. 

COVID-19 Prevention 

On Thursday, April 15, the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed one case of the COVID-19 variant SARS-CoV-2 P.1 in Johnson County. This variant is also referred to as the Brazilian variant. The first COVID-19 variant strain detected in Iowa was the B.1.1.7., or UK variant. Scientists are working to learn more about these variants to better understand how easily they might be transmitted and the effectiveness of currently authorized vaccines against them. New information about these variants is rapidly emerging. 

Surveillance to detect the emergence and spread of COVID-19 variant strains is important, as it is used by researchers and public health experts to determine: 

  • If variants might spread more quickly or cause milder or more severe illness in people
  • If current testing methods are able to detect the variant strains
  • Whether current treatments for COVID-19 may be less effective
  • If natural or vaccine-induced immunity is effective against becoming sick with a variant strain

Recently, Linn County Public Health requested surveillance data on variants that have been detected in Linn County to date. Surveillance testing involves randomly choosing routine test specimens to perform further testing. In Linn County, the B.1.1.7, B.1.429, and B.1.427 COVID-19 variant strains have all been detected. All three of these variants, in addition to the P.1 strain detected in nearby Johnson County, have been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as variants of concern

The emergence of new variants underscores that it remains critical for Iowans to continue the mitigation efforts that we know work to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is offered to you
  • If you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, follow CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals 

Linn County Case Count Data

  • Active cases: 1,185
  • Currently hospitalized: 5
  • Total deaths: 339
  • Total recovered: 18,773
  • Total cases to date: 20,297

Note: The State of Iowa has transitioned from reporting positive individuals to positive tests. Linn County will continue to report positive individuals. Therefore, numbers from the state and Linn County dashboard will not match. 

Additional data on COVID-19 cases is available on Linn County’s case count dashboard.  

Linn County Metrics

  • Test Positivity Rate*: 17.2% 
    • *Percent of positive tests to date since beginning of pandemic

Additional Linn County metrics are available on Linn County’s metrics dashboard.

For more COVID-19 information specific to Linn County, visit LinnCounty.org/COVID19.

Know Your Ws wash your hands, wear a face mask, wait six feet apart

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