Third case of COVID-19 in Marion County

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Marion County Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Raymie holds up President Trump's "15 days to slow the spread" plan at a recent press conference. (photo by Steve Woodhouse)

A third case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Marion County; an individual between the ages of 18-40. This is the second case in the county for that age group.

The announcement was made during the Friday, April 10, Marion County press conference by Board of Supervisors’ Chair Mark Raymie. He encouraged everyone to continue to follow the guidelines set up by the Trump Administration, in the hopes of stopping the spread of the virus within 30 days.

“This virus can hit any age range,” Raymie said. With the Governor’s concerns expressed this morning regarding personal protective equipment, Raymie assures Marion County residents that local providers are well-stocked to get them through this, while trying to secure more.

Sheriff Jason Sandholdt was the first of the board’s guests on the press conference. He wanted to thank the public for their cooperation with the social distancing and other recommendations.

“We have had absolutely no problems (with cooperation),” he said. “Nobody wants to get their neighbor sick.” He also took advantage of the opportunity to ask drivers to be cognizant of more farm equipment on the roads as planting begins. His office has also tried to reduce the number of people in the Marion County Jail, while still enforcing the law and holding people accountable. The sheriff’s office typically likes to be prepared for threats, but viral pandemics are a different story.

“This is one of those threats you just can’t see,” Sandholdt said.

County Auditor Jake Grandia joined the press conference to discuss the June 2 primary, which is still going to be held on that day. Earlier today, he shared a release outlining plans for the election. There will still be some poll voting at this point, but Grandia is unsure how it will look. Some precincts may be combined. Regardless of how one votes in the primary, everyone should take part, Raymie added.

Hannah Vander Veer with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce reiterated that the office is available to help. Even if you are not a Chamber member, you can seek assistance through the Knoxville Iowa Business Managers and Owners’ Facebook page. Right now, on the Chamber’s website is a survey for business leaders to fill out to help guide the Chamber to providing help that is needed.

Rick Hurt, with the South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency, reported new regulations regarding the county’s landfill. Cash is no longer being accepted, household hazardous waste is not being collected – and all community events for collection for the year are being canceled. On the SCISWA website is information regarding safe storage of these items.

“If it’s not essential, don’t come,” Hurt says to those who want to bring items to the facility. There are partitions up to protect the health of customers and staff who have business at the facility, and staff members are not allowed to help anyone unload items from customers’ personal vehicles. For more information, call 641-828-8545.

Pella Mayor Don DeWaard shared that parks and playgrounds remain closed. More importantly, he reported that over $60,000 worth of receipts have been turned in for the Pay it Forward Pella program. The cap is $100,000, so DeWaard encouraged everyone to shop Pella.

Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch updated everyone on closures and shared information on the Neighbor Helping Neighbor program. For more information on that, call 641-820-0679.

Visitor restrictions are still in place at Pella Regional Health Center and Knoxville Hospital and Clinics. Kevin Stittsworth, with KHC, said the hospital is “feeling the love” from those the facility serves.

“The support has been a big boost to our morale,” Stittsworth said. Both PRHC and KHC continue to see patients for all health problems. Entrances are being restricted.

Pastor Ethan Book also spoke. Look for more on what he had to say in a related article.

Raymie closed by saying that the steps the County has taken are working and encouraged everyone to keep up the good work through April 30. Another press conference is planned for Monday, April 13, at 1 p.m.