Cameron citizens test positive for COVID-19

Shortly after the Clinton County Health Department confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, Cameron residents Zoe Jones and Cory Brown announced they were among those battling the deadly disease.

Jones told her employer, the St. Joseph News-Press, she likely contracted the virus after deciding to take a go forward with a journalism conference in New York, despite warnings of a potential COVID-19 outbreak, while Cory Brown said he received his diagnosis shortly after being notified of the diagnosis of a co-worker in Kansas City.

Clinton County Health Department, according to a Friday night press release, received two confirmed positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). These positive tests are a result of increased testing availability and capacity within Clinton County, and the State. We expect to see additional cases as a result of this increased testing. The first patient is a female in her [Jones] with travel to an area with a large number of cases. The second patient is a female in her 30s. Both patients are recovering at home under voluntary self-isolation. The Clinton County Health Department is working with regional, state, and federal partners in response to positive cases, and will continue to work to reduce the risk posed by this illness to the residents of Clinton County. These positive tests affirm the message that local, State, and federal health authorities have been stressing over the past several weeks: This illness is within our communities, and members or our communities must take protective actions as advised by health authorities  to slow and prevent it’s spread within our communities, including adhering to the emergency order issued earlier this week.

Brown currently serves on the Cameron Parks Board, who meets in the Cameron City Council chambers and unanimously approved a land swap for a proposed Cameron City Park at Eighth Street and Northland Drive during a meeting in late February. The Citizen-Observer reached out to the city of Cameron to if was necessary to decontaminate the chambers before the April 6 meeting. City Manager Steve Rasmussen said he contacted the Clinton County Health Department, which did not recommend taking any additional measures outside of the city’s standard cleaning protocols. Monday’s Cameron Board of Adjustment meeting was held in the city hall basement.

“Even though we haven’t identified every case in every town within the county, it’s in every town in the county. These social distancing measures are effective at preventing transmission from person to person if people will adopt them,” said Clinton County Emergency Management Director Blair Shock, during in an interview following Clinton County’s first announced Coronavirus diagnosis last Tuesday. “There is not going to be a more effective way of stopping it than that. We’re hitting the point now where if we don’t stop it, then we won’t stop it. We’re not going to stop it from coming into our communities at this point. It’s already here. Our goal is to slow its spread to the point our healthcare providers are not overwhelmed and not able to provide care to those who are the most sick.”

Shock said the next few weeks will be the breaking point to determine whether the United States healthcare system will be able to handle the exponential rise in cases expected through April.

“It transfers easily from person to person and remains on hard surfaces for a long period of time,” Shock said. “… Society will eventually return to normal and I have no idea when. After this initial outbreak, when the majority who have contracted and recovered from this illness, I expect there to be sporadic outbreaks in different geographies throughout the world. The timeline, honestly, I haven’t a clue. We’re more concerned about the short-term future - what the next two weeks hold for us. The next two weeks will be make or break for if we can weather this storm.”

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