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OPINION

Health and Wellness: COVID-19 mitigation after hours

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department

Many Iowans are cooperating to reduce the spread of the coronavirus during their work day. Much of this is due to employer policies regarding face coverings, staying at a distance and increased sanitizing of surfaces.

Then we leave work or school and all bets are off. Lots of us are leaving our face coverings in the car while we run into a convenience or grocery store. Our kids are being allowed to gather at one another’s homes or ride in the same vehicle with non-family members. Unmasked friends are gathering at school events, restaurants and private homes. Familiar activities that seem the least threatening are posing the highest risks. In Dallas County, the number of persons reported positive for COVID-19 (https://coronavirus.iowa.gov) went from 325 on Oct. 25 to 1,336 on Nov. 12.

We cannot yet cure or completely prevent the coronavirus. There are behaviors that can protect you and others in Dallas County: stay home if you’re sick and wear a mask when you must go out in public. To keep from overwhelming our area hospitals in the coming weeks, please tamp down on socializing in person. Consider how your actions either mitigate or enable the spread of disease.