Scott County Public Health Director Lisa Brodsky presented a COVID-19 update to the Scott County Board at the regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
“In the last week we have had the highest number of cases to date on record,” she said.
Data from Nov. 16 showed a cumulative total of 6,302 positive COVID-19 cases in Scott County, with 1,413 new cases added since the previous report.
“Back in August and September, we were thinking 50 cases a day was pretty high. This past week we had a day where we had 307 positive cases. It’s definitely in an extremely accelerated phase,” she said.
She emphasized that there is an increase in the positivity rate, in addition to the total number of people who are testing positive.
“Clearly more testing is going to find more cases. But when we started doing COVID testing back in July, we were getting an average of a 4 percent positivity rate. Our recent cases are showing as high as a 25 percent positivity rate, 19 percent, 17 percent,” she said.
She said the spread of the virus is impacting hospitals across the county and state, causing both labor and bed shortages. She told the board that St. Francis’s ICU is currently full and that staff is diverting patients elsewhere. She said that St. Francis is likely to cancel a few of the elective surgeries, a decision that seemed unlikely a week ago.
Scott County does have an alternative care site, with extra beds available. However, with the staff shortages due to COVID-19, she said she’s not sure there will be enough health care workers to staff those beds.
At the Nov. 17 board meeting, the county commissioners heard an election update from Scott County Auditor Cindy Geis.
Geis walked the commissioners through statistics from the general election. A total of 88,307 people from Scott County voted in the election. Nearly 53 percent of voters cast absentee ballots. Scott County had a 93.65 percent voter turnout rate.
Out of any city in the county, Belle Plaine had the most new voter registrations with 376. Geis said a Scott County representative went to check out Belle Plaine’s voting setup on election day and said Belle Plaine could have been a “poster child” for everything they did right.
The next Scott County Board Meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 1.