Northwest Iowa’s Sioux County continues to have the highest coronavirus positivity rate in Iowa. At 5 p.m. today, the state’s online dashboard indicated Sioux County’s Covid postivity rate was 27%.
Community Health Partners is the name of the county’s public health agency. In an email, officials there said they’ve been closely watching the 14-day positivity rate over the last month and are very concerned about it. They say they have been working with the Iowa Department of Public Health to help evaluate what is driving Sioux County’s percentage rates up.
In the email, Sioux County public health officials said they know for sure the county’s experiencing community spread. At this time, however, they do not have any data to support that there has been a specific outbreak, nor do they have any data to suggest the colleges are driving this number. There are three colleges in Sioux County — Dordt University in Sioux Center, Northwestern College in Orange City and Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.
There were 32 new cases of Covid confirmed in the county in the past 24 hours according to the state website. Neighboring Lyon County, to the north, has a positivity rate of 21.9% and Plymouth County, to the south of Sioux County, has a 16% rate. The only other county in the state above 15 percent positivity is Winnebago County.
(Reporting by Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)