IDPH Nursing home outbreak chart.

All residents and staff of a Mason City nursing home are being tested this week for COVID-19.

The state website shows there’s a coronavirus outbreak at the Good Shepherd Health Center in Mason City. While 40 people associated with the facility have recovered, 20 residents and staff members still have the virus.

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health Director Brian Hanft says they’ve been working with all the county’s long-term care facilities since early January to prepare for outbreaks.

“It’s sad to see that it happened in any of our facilities, but really it was inevitable,” he says. “So it’s a matter, then, of how we come together as a community to provide an adequate response system and response network to help those organizations adapt and overcome.”

Hanft says having a plan is key in addressing any COVID-19 outbreak.

“Whether it’s a business, a long-term care center, or heaven forbid, we’re going to be sending kids back to school again. So what’s the plan for when we see cases show up in schools?” he says. “Because it’s going to happen.”

Eighteen Iowa long-term care facilities are currently dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

(By Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City)