Iowans with Underlying Conditions Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Effective March 8, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Sioux County have expanded COVID-19 vaccine priority groups to include individuals 64 years of age and younger with medical conditions that are or may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  For a full list of medical conditions visit

Others eligible to receive the vaccine at this time include:

  • Individuals age 65 and older
  • PK-12 staff & teachers and childcare workers
  • First responders

If you are in any of the above listed priority groups you can sign up for the vaccine at your local health system or at Hy-Vee using the links listed on

If you need help signing up please call your local health system or Community Health Partners.

Because vaccine production has not fully met the demand for vaccine, Iowans will need to remain patient until supply increases.

It’s critical to continue practicing the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Vaccinated Iowans should continue these precautions as we are still learning whether getting a vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible


Continue to check for vaccine updates and for additional vaccine eligibility information.

Sioux County Vaccination Effort Gets a Boost

In Sioux County, the Local Public Health Agency, Community Health Partners, is working collaboratively with the four Area Health Systems and Promise Community Health Center to distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, February 25, Community Health Partners received notice that Sioux County was selected as 1 of the 17 counties eligible to receive an allocation of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for use in phase 1b, tier 2 populations which include workers in food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing sectors who live or work in settings that made social distancing difficult.

The Sioux County Emergency Preparedness Coalition held an emergency meeting on Friday, February 26 to align efforts to administer the 900 doses of vaccine to eligible employees, in addition to the efforts underway targeting individuals 65 and older, by the end of the week of March 5, as directed by IDPH.

Community Health Partners and health system employees worked with major employers and have plans in place to hold vaccination clinics this week with most clinics taking place March 3 – 5.

“The collaborative effort between public health, emergency management and all health care systems and the willingness of staff to do whatever needs to get done during the pandemic has been remarkable, and this is another illustration of that.”   Kim Westerholm, Director of Community Health Services.

The vaccines will be given on site to employees at the following locations:

Center Fresh
Formosa Foods
Premium Iowa Pork
Smithfield Orange City
Smithfield Sioux Center

Sioux County is following the Iowa Department of Public Health orders for COVID-19 vaccine administration and is administering vaccine to priority groups as it becomes available. This week Sioux County has expanded vaccine priority groups to include Childcare and PK-12 Teachers and School Staff in addition to individuals age 65 and older.

If you are 65+ or a teacher or on staff at a PK-12 school, sign-up at your local health system or at Hy-Vee using links listed on

If you need help signing up please call your local health system or public health.

As more vaccine becomes available, the priority groups will continue to expand. Vaccine updates will be shared via media releases (newspaper, radio, and social media), health system websites and social media, and will be posted to

Sioux County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Sioux County is following the Iowa Department of Public Health recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine administration.

Vaccine is currently not available to the general public.  As more vaccine  becomes available, additional groups will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

What phase are we in? 

Iowa is currently in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution. Phase 1A is limited to paid and unpaid health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.

When will Phase 1B start?

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) worked with the Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) for additional guidance on further prioritizing within the Phase 1B priority groups established by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Phase 1B is expected to start in early February (subject to change based on availability of vaccine)

How and where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Health care systems in Sioux County are making plans for vaccine administration
  • Sioux County Covid-19 Vaccine updates will be shared via media releases (newspaper, radio, and social media), health system websites and social media, and will also be posted to Links to health system websites and social media are also listed on the website.

*Vaccine distribution timeline is dependent upon vaccine supply, and guidelines and recommendations are subject to change*

Sioux County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID vaccines are currently being administered in Sioux County to the Phase 1A priority populations of health care personnel and long-term care residents and staff.


As more vaccines become available, Community Health Partners, the 4 healthcare systems: Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center Avera, Orange City Area Health System, and Sioux Center Health, as well as Promise Community Health Center will work together, to ensure COVID vaccine is administered as soon as possible to those eligible to receive it.


Supplies of Covid vaccine remain very limited. At this time, we do not have a firm timeline as to when to expect the vaccine supply to increase, or for the priority populations to move to Phase 1-B, or which groups of people will be included in Phase 1-B.


The CDC and Iowa’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) are currently working to determine which groups of people will fall into the Phase 1-B priority populations.


Community Health Partners and the Sioux County healthcare systems will continue to provide updates as additional priority populations are identified and as the county receives additional allocations of vaccine.


It is anticipated that by mid-2021, there should be vaccine available for anyone who wants to receive it. Until vaccine is widely available to all, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Wearing a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick


Sioux County Covid-19 Vaccine updates will be shared via media releases, health system websites, on social media, and will also be posted to Links to health system websites and social media are also listed on the website.


Be assured that we will share information as it becomes available and that we are all working together to ensure the health and safety of Sioux County.


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:

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.”