MASON CITY — The head of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health says his department is turning the page in an attempt to get back to some level of normalcy post-COVID-19 pandemic.
Brian Hanft says weekly planning meetings are ending, the mass vaccination clinic is closed and it’s time to move forward. “I think this is a good day. We had our last Incident Action Plan meeting this morning. We’ll kind of table that need for hosting that meeting once a week to define exactly what we’re doing. We continue to have vaccine clinics at our office. We’ll be doing those on Wednesdays and Fridays, encouraging people to go on our website and sign up for a time slot, using the exact same process that we had before. Outside of that, we cleaned out the mass vaccination clinic yesterday, spent a lot of time trying to get that all wrapped up.”
Hanft says despite moving in a different direction, it doesn’t mean his department’s focus on COVID-19 is diminishing. “It doesn’t mean we’ve won the battle, we’ve got a long way to go with less than 50% of our total population vaccinated. My perspective on that is we’re at a juncture where public health has done their job as far as the mass clinic goes, but it’s now working with our hospitals and our medical partners to help communicate the need for continued vaccine administration.”
Hanft says while the summer should settle down a little bit for his department, they’ll be preparing for a potentially busy fall. “It could be the boost, we don’t know if a third boost is going to be needed. I anticipate that, we don’t know how that’s going to play out yet, so we’re just kind of waiting. We definitely want to reach out to the schools. We’ll be hosting some clinics with those schools, trying to get kids in that 12-17 range vaccinated going back to school. And then we’re going to roll into the flu and all that other kind of stuff. So again, I think this summer will now settle down.”
The 14-day positivity rate in Cerro Gordo County as of midday today was at 1.9%, with the seven-day average being right at 3%.