Marshall County remained under the “high transmission” designation for COVID-19 early this week, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Deb Hedke, infection prevention and employee health nurse at Community Memorial Healthcare, said the hospital had seven positive tests out of 48 people tested in June. Four people were admitted to the hospital during the past month and two people were admitted as observation only for less than 24 hours.

“We are asking all visitors to the hospital to not come if they have had a positive COVID test in the last 10 days, if they are symptomatic with COVID symptoms and need to test, or if they have been exposed by someone else in the last 10 days,” Hedke said.

Testing remains available at the Community Physicians Clinic or in home tests available at the hospital or at the Marshall County Health Department.

While the high transmission rate remains in place, all CMH visitors are asked to be screened at registration or in the emergency room or at the nurse’s station.

“Of course, everyone entering the hospital should be wearing a mask,” Hedke said. “When our community transmission levels are listed as low, we can ease off of the screening process.”

Vaccine update

The smallest Marshall countians soon can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the county health department.

Director Cheryl Skalla said the department expects the Pfizer vaccine for children ages birth to 5 to arrive this week. The vaccinations will be given on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as they are for all ages.

COVID-19 has had a steady presence in Marshall County so far this summer.

It is hard to report an accurate count of case numbers, Skalla said, because many people are now testing themselves and family members at home when they experience symptoms.

The number of positives reported to the county health department in June was 19, Skalla said. The total reported in May was 19 as well. Skalla thinks that is lower than the actual number of cases.

Cases reported have been milder than some in the past, with cold-like symptoms. She attributes that to the fact that many people have gotten vaccinated and more are getting boosters.

Booster shots and first- and second-time shots remain available each Tuesday at the health department, which temporarily is located in the former Landoll Company parts center at Center and 15th Street.