COVID-19 — Behind the scenes

—Part 1
CRESCO - The Regional Health Services of Howard County COVID-19 (coronavirus) Community Partnership met through a tele-call on Tuesday, March 17. Members of the public invited include healthcare workers, community leaders, city officials and others. RHSHC CEO Robin Schluter conducted the meeting.
On a daily basis, RHSHC continues with COVID-19 preparation and emergency planning, following guidance from state and federal authorities. The company appreciates the cooperation of the community. Also please remember to wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and practice social distancing.
• Some of the major announcements at the hospital and clinics (Cresco and Lime Springs) included the closure of Senior Life Solutions in the old Cresco Medical Clinic building, west of the hospital/clinic, on Wednesday, March 18. This service is geared toward day service for seniors, including mental health.
• At the same time, the Cresco Medical Clinic is segregating its patients. Those with respiratory illness will be directed to the Senior Life Solutions (old Cresco Medical Clinic) building. This is for anticipated patients with respiratory problems due to the pandemic. Schluter later said, “Most facilities are now operating separate screening/testing locations for patients with respiratory illness, however many of those are operated out of tents.”
• RHSHC is restricting elective surgery.
• RHSHC is concerned about their healthcare workers and helping them find solutions to daycare.
• Supt. Ted Ihns of Howard-Winneshiek Schools sent a report that with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ directive to close all schools for four weeks, H-W plans to deliver free breakfast and lunch meals to students, similar to the summer food program. It will begin March 23 and goes Monday-Friday. The meals will also be available at the outlying towns — Chester, Lime Springs, Elma and Ridgeway.
In addition, since it was a forced closure, days missed will be forgiven.
• Renée Cuvelier, principal of Notre Dame Catholic School, said teachers are working on providing materials to families. In addition, the plan was to have a drive-through pick-up for their classroom items.
• Kessel Kids is staying open at this time for day care. They did change their drop-off procedure, only letting children out of the cars. Parents just drop them off with staff ready to escort them into the building.
• Audrey Nosbisch had talked with individuals in the Mennonite community, telling them about the school closures. They were not aware it was for every school and were closing their schools on Tuesday, March 17.
• Emergency Management Coordinator Darrell Knecht said since Iowa was declared a disaster, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be available. 
“You have to keep track of costs, have people sign in and out. If we use supplies in connection with COVID-19, this is also eligible.” This is for city and county governments.
He was also getting a count on the number of children of healthcare workers needing child care.
• Knecht stated that he officially opened the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is located at the Howard County Sheriff’s office. Opening the EOC is just a formality and will streamline any support needed in the county.
• Evans Memorial Home, Accura HealthCare and Country Winds Manor reported no new changes. All three nursing homes are restricting visitors and keeping staff and residents as safe as they can.
• Cresco Public Works Director Rod Freidhof said, “Tell everybody to only flush toilet paper. Everything else goes in the garbage. Even if it says flushable wipes, they are not flushable.”
• EARL Public Transit discontinued all transportation except for dialysis and chemo patients.
• Donna Thomas of Cresco Bank & Trust announced the bank was closing the lobby to the public. Individuals can get appointments if need be, and the drive-up will be open during regular office hours, starting on Wednesday.
• CUSB Bank followed suit on Thursday at noon. They included the walk-up window would also be open in Cresco.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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