MASON CITY, Iowa - As the pandemic continues, it would seem North Iowa is in the grip of the virus. In just one week, Cerro Gordo County has seen 460 new cases.
This afternoon, CG Public Health Director Brian Hanft was part of a press conference with MercyOne North Iowa. He wanted to stress the need to keep masking up.
Hanft says CG Public Health has been meeting regularly with school districts and hospitals about the situation. He's particularly concerned about the upcoming holidays, recommending folks stick to their immediate family or gatherings under ten people.
As to why the numbers are spiking, Hanft speculates it could be the cold weather driving people indoors and those hidden virus carriers out in the community.
"It's very difficult to track the virus, because anybody who becomes positive and they're asymptomatic to start, 48 hours prior to them being symptomatic, is when they're generally most contagious," said Hanft.
He also said CG Public Health has handed over some of their contact tracing work to the state of Iowa, because of the sheer number of cases. They will continue to do contract tracing for local schools.