Nine new cases confirmed in Story County; death linked to Story City facility
A total of nine new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by health officials in Story County on Wednesday, and the second death in the county from the disease, which was reported Monday, was confirmed to have been of a resident of a long-term care facility where an outbreak was previously reported.
Betsy Warburton, CEO of the Bethany Life complex in Story City, confirmed to the Tribune that the death was connected to the facility, where multiple cases of COVID-19 had been reported last week.
“We at Bethany Life have sadly had the death of a resident who tested positive for COVID-19. We have done all of the required notifications to state and federal agencies and we continue to screen, monitor and test staff and (residents) according to government guidelines,” Warburton said in an emailed statement. “We keep the family and our staff in our prayers during this very difficult time. Out of respect for the family and due to privacy issues we cannot share any additional information.”
Two of the new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday also occurred at Bethany Life, bringing the facility’s total cases to six, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus website.
The nine confirmed cases bring the county’s total since the start of June to 39, and the total throughout the coronavirus pandemic to 165.
Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health, confirmed the new cases on Wednesday, but only knew information about seven of the patients.
He said rthree patients were tested at McFarland, three through TestIowa and one at Boone County Hospital.
Of the nearly 170 cases throughout the county, 101 of the patients have fully recovered, according to the state health department.
During a press conference at the state Capitol in Des Moines on Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced 275 new cases throughout the state as well as seven more deaths. Reynolds also announced over 200,000 Iowans had been tested for COVID-19.
“I’m happy to say that Iowa’s COVID cases continue to trend in the right direction,” Reynolds said. “Our average positivity rate is currently 11.1% and yesterday our daily positivity rate was 5.4%.”
During the press conference, Reynolds announced plans to lift business capacity restrictions beginning Friday, and gave the green light to reopen pools as well as adult and senior day care facilities.
“Eliminating the capacity restrictions will allow business the flexibility to adjust their operations accordingly to best meet the needs of their customers and employees,” Renyolds said.
In late May, both the Ames City Council and Boone Park Board voted to keep pools closed throughout the summer.
As of Wednesday, 22,516 Iowans have tested positive for the virus and 629 had died.