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Emmet and Dickinson County health officials weigh in on Iowa’s increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations

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ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) -- According to the COVID-19 dashboard, Iowa is seeing an increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations, statewide.

In northwest Iowa, state health officials report there are 114 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with 501 patients across the entire state.

And as the virus continues to spread, health officials in Emmet County, Iowa say having trouble breathing is just one of the reasons someone should seek additional care if they have COVID-19.

"You know, it's usually that kind of thing that has caused them to have a lot more trouble at home. They can't stay home because they just need some interventions by health care providers so they end up going to the hospital," said Kathy Preston, Emmet County Public Health Director.

Leaders in Dickinson County, Iowa say their nursing homes are contributing to the increase of hospitalizations.

"Because the admission criteria for nursing homes have become really stringent to accept their residents back. So, we've taken care of their residents for having COVID-19, Then to have them go back into the nursing home has been really difficult. So, they've kind of stayed here, so that's increased our numbers," said Jennifer Gustafson, VP Marketing for Lakes Regional Healthcare.

Gustafson added while wearing masks and social distancing helps stop the spread of COVID-19, there's one more thing anybody can do.

"Stay on top of your health screenings and your regular doctor appointments. You know, COVID is a serious, serious thing. But it becomes even more serious if you have comorbidities," said Gustafson.

Officials say if you feel like you need to seek extra care for your COVID-19 symptoms, make sure to call ahead before you come in.

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Emily Schrad

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