Mask Press Release

November 11, 2020
News release: for immediate release
Submitted by:

Sioux County healthcare leaders urge masking – including in churches
Asking for public’s help in slowing the surge of COVID-19

Following Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ proclamation on November 10 regarding masking and indoor gatherings, the CEOs of the four Sioux County hospitals – along with Community Health Partners – are imploring all residents of Sioux County to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to gathering restrictions and mask requirements. Wearing masks in indoor public settings helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“We as a hospital and health system community implore each resident and visitor in Sioux County to follow the Governor’s proclamation requiring masking for indoor gatherings of 25 or more people,” stated the health system leaders, adding “Specifically, we urge every church to strongly consider voluntarily submitting to this protocol as well.”

According to the health system leaders, at least 15 Sioux County residents currently are hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus. Sioux County has had an additional 95 positive cases in the past two days. The county’s 14-day positivity rate (the percent of people testing positive among those tested) is now 29.4 percent.

“Sioux County is experiencing substantial community spread of COVID-19,” the health system leaders state. “The strain on the local healthcare systems and their employees is very real, and we need to keep our healthcare workers safe and available to care for those who need it.”

Governor Reynolds’ November 10 proclamation states that any social, community, recreational, leisure, or sports gathering or event of more than 25 people held indoors, or more than 100 people outdoors, is prohibited through November 30 unless all participants over the age of two wear masks at all times except while eating or drinking. Spiritual and religious gatherings are exempt from this prohibition; however, healthcare leaders are strongly urging Sioux County churches to voluntarily adopt the mask requirement for group gatherings through November 30.

During this very challenging time, health care leaders and CHP ask the faith community to help preserve our healthcare resources and slow the community spread of COVID-19 by strongly considering wearing masks in church.


To view as a PDF document, please click Here.

Enhanced Public Health Mitigation Measures

COVID-19 continues to surge across the state with group gatherings being a major source of serious community spread.  Today Governor Reynolds asked all Iowans to “consider how their choice to adhere to public health mitigation strategies impacts the spread of COVID-19 in their family and community.” The Governor signed a new proclamation imposing a number of additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new measures will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11 and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2020.


A summary of enhanced mitigation measures can be found here: Summary of Enhanced Public Health Measures


The entire proclamation can be found at this link:


As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge with serious community spread, please consider how your actions will impact—or protect—others in the community. Please do all you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so we can protect our vulnerable community members, keep our students in school and our businesses open, and prevent overwhelming our health care systems.

Deciding to Go Out

Sioux County continues to see community spread of Covid-19 and a high positivity rate.


It is important for you to consider your own personal situation and the risk for you, your family, and your community before venturing out.


Below are some questions to consider as you make decisions about venturing out.      

  • Am I at risk for severe illness due to age or a serious underlying medical condition?
  • Do I live with, or frequently spend time with, someone who is at risk for severe illness?
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in my community?
  • Will my activity put me in close contact with others?
  • Will those in attendance be social distancing and wearing masks?
  • Will I have to share any items, equipment, or tools with other people?
  • Is the event indoor or outdoor?
  • Does the activity require travel to another community, or that I share transportation with people who do not live with me?
  • If I get sick with COVID-19, will I have to miss work or school?

For help answering these questions see:

Care for Yourself Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings

Early detection could save your life. Get a free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening through the Care for Yourself Program. Cancer found early means early treatment. Earlier treatment can mean a better outcome.
Take an active role in your health, call today!
Worried about cost?
The Care for Yourself Program offers free or low-cost healthcare services to eligible individuals.

You may qualify if you:
• Are between the ages 40-64 years of age;
• Are under age 40 and have signs of breast cancer;
• Have a monthly income of $2,658 (net) or less;
*Add $934 for each additional household member
• Have no health insurance; or
• Have health insurance, but are unable to pay the co-payment or deductible; or
• Have health insurance but need help to make sure make sure you get screened

Siouxland District Health Department coordinates this program locally and across neighboring counties by providing enrollment and case management services. The actual screening services are provided at your own physician’s office, at the local hospitals in Sioux County, and at Promise Community Health Center.

To check your eligibility and to enroll contact:

Lori Jackson, Siouxland District Health
(712) 279-6119
[email protected]

Ana Lopez, Siouxland District Health
(712) 279-6119
[email protected]

For more information on breast cancer see:
For more information about cervical cancer see:

Updated Quarantine Guidelines

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has changed quarantine recommendations for people exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Please note the following as you read:

• This new guidance applies to business, education and child-care setting exposures. It does NOT apply to exposures in household or health care settings. Household members of positive COVID-19 cases still need to quarantine for 14 days.
• Gaiters and face shields are not considered acceptable face coverings. See the CDC guidance for face coverings:


Contact: Amy McCoy
[email protected]

IDPH Adjusts Quarantine Recommendations

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is making a change on quarantine recommendations for people that have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. This applies in non-healthcare, non-residential settings only. This includes businesses, education and child care settings.

  • Close contacts of COVID-positive cases will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if a face covering was worn consistently and correctly by the positive case and close contacts. The positive case must isolate. The close contacts should self-monitor.
    • Self-monitoring entails close monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms over the subsequent 14 days, staying home if any symptoms develop, and speaking with a healthcare provider about COVID-19 testing in the case of any illness.
    • If people who are self-monitoring become ill but do not get tested, they should remain home until 10 days after symptom onset.
  • People currently in quarantine may be released from quarantine if a face covering was worn consistently and correctly by the positive case and close contacts during exposure.
  • If the positive case wore a face covering, but close contacts did not, those close contacts must be quarantined.
  • If the positive case did not wear a face covering, close contacts must quarantine whether or not they wore a face covering.
  • Quarantine of close contacts will still be necessary in residential and healthcare settings.

Please find an infographic depicting the new IDPH recommendations at

Masks are proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Increased mask use will reduce the number of individuals that need to quarantine. Along with wearing a face covering, we ask that everyone continue all recommended public health strategies:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible.
  • Wash hands frequently.

This approach is based on data and focused feedback from community and school leaders over the past month indicating that transmission is not frequently occurring when both parties are wearing face coverings consistently and correctly. Additionally, we are aware of other jurisdictions, including Nebraska and Wyoming, that have made similar changes based on experiences in their states. We will continue to make recommendations based on best available information and adjust when needed.

Statement on High Positivity and Additional Cases

Sioux County is currently experiencing a number of additional COVID-19 cases. We urge every resident to take steps to protect the health of themselves and their families. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Avoid gatherings. Stay at least six feet away from others at all times. Wear a mask or face covering when you have to be around others. Older people and those with underlying health conditions like heart problems, diabetes, or obesity are at increased risk of serious complications from this virus, so they should take extra precautions. If you’re sick, stay home.

Since there is no vaccine for this virus, you are the best weapon we have in slowing the spread of this disease.

Sioux County Board of Health Position Statement

August 27, 2020

Sioux County Board of Health Position Statement

As our local schools open and fall activities begin, the Sioux County Board of Health asks that everyone in Sioux County take an active role in reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our community.

Based on guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Sioux County Board of Health recommends that individuals and visitors in Sioux County:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public and when around people who do not live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face coverings should cover your nose and mouth. Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or by anyone who has trouble breathing or would be unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Distance yourself at least 6 feet apart from others, when possible. Covid-19 spreads most often among people who are in close contact.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces.
  • Consider your level of risk before attending group activities.

Sioux County Board of Health

Dr. Lee Kamstra, Chairperson
Jeanene Kuiper, Vice Chairperson
Shari Fedders
Barbara Top
Matt Visser

Sioux County Confirms Outbreak in a Long-Term Care Center

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Sioux County Public Health (Community Health Partners/CHP) have identified 4 positive resident cases of COVID-19 at Prairie Ridge Care Center a long-term care facility in Sioux County. According to IDPH, an outbreak occurs when three or more cases of COVID-19 are identified among residents of a facility.

The facility has notified residents and their families, and consistent with IDPH guidelines, the affected residents are in isolation. Prairie Ridge staff are working closely with IDPH and CHP to protect the health of all residents and staff, with additional testing of residents and staff as directed by IDPH.

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents and staff is the highest priority of Prairie Ridge and CHP,” said Sioux County Public Health (CHP) Director, Kim Westerholm. “We know our older population is at the highest risk for serious COVID-19 illness, so we and Prairie Ridge are monitoring the situation carefully and taking the highest precautions to prevent virus spread.”

As of today, 7/30, there are 575 total cases of COVID-19 in Sioux County. CHP continues to work closely with IDPH, and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, including an interactive map with county, regional and long-term care outbreak information, visit:

COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Sioux County

The Sioux County Department of Public Health, Community Health Partners, today announced the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. The individual was a 61-80 year old.

“We wish to extend our sympathy to this individual’s family,” said Sioux County Public Health Director Kim Westerholm. “Sioux County Public Health and all of our key partners throughout the county and state continue to work to limit the spread and impact of this virus in our communities.”

All residents should continue to follow precautions to avoid getting sick and passing the virus onto others. Those precautions include washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others; wearing a cloth face covering when around people outside of your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly, and monitoring your health for symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself then call your health care provider and follow their advice.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit and follow the Iowa Department of Public Health on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

Childhood Vaccines During COVID-19

June 16, 2020

From Community Health Partners, Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center, Orange City Area Health System, and Sioux Center Health


Sioux County Public Health and area health systems stress importance of childhood vaccines during coronavirus pandemic
Missing vaccinations can have devastating effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared vaccines one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century, second only to clean water. The widespread use of vaccines protects all Iowans from once common and serious infectious diseases like tetanus, measles, mumps, and polio.

Unfortunately, childhood immunizations/vaccinations have significantly decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend seen in Sioux County as well as nationwide. Delays in immunizations may result in secondary outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The need to prevent serious childhood diseases like measles and whooping cough doesn’t disappear during the coronavirus public health emergency,” stated Kim Westerholm, Director of Community Health Services for Sioux County’s Community Health Partners (CHP),

Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential to ensure children are protected against diseases.  Missing vaccinations can have devastating effects not only for the child but for others as well.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) strongly support continued healthcare for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAP recommends that all well-child care should occur in person whenever possible and within the child’s medical home for continuity of care.

Each of the health systems in Sioux County – Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center, Orange City Area Health System, and Sioux Center Health – have protocols in place to safely care for both well and sick patients of all ages. They encourage the families they serve to schedule immunizations and other essential health services with their providers.

“Local medical clinics are ready to continue to provide safe and integrated care for your family and children,” commented Westerholm. “It’s important to reschedule missed well child visits and other important healthcare screenings and get your immunizations up to date.”