First Case of COVID-19 in Cass County has Recovered

April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

Atlantic, IA— On April 12, it was announced that a case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had been confirmed in Cass County. Cass County Public Health is happy to announce that the patient has recovered.

“With his permission, we’re happy to report that Cass County resident John Stokes has recovered from COVID-19,” said Cass County Public Health Director Beth Olsen. “In late March, John traveled out of state and then arrived home in Cass County about two weeks ago. When his symptoms worsened, he sought care in a safe way.”

When asked about his experience at Cass County Health System, John said, “The folks at the hospital were angels. They were very caring, very comforting. Even when they had to check on me during the middle of the night, they were very gentle, very kind. From Paul, the nurse practitioner, to all of the nurses, straight down to the kitchen. They were all very patient. And the food was fantastic!”

When John was discharged from CCHS, a small group of staff lined the hallways to celebrate his recovery and return home.

“I felt I should have been the one applauding. They were the ones taking the risk, because I already had it. They were the ones still risking a lot to help me, to heal me.”

And now, John is at home and looking forward to the future. “Keep the faith,” said John.

Many residents may be wondering if they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 through John. “Through our investigation, we didn’t find any significant risk to the public,” said Beth. “If we had, we would contact individuals one-on-one. In this case, that wasn’t necessary.”

While this case is over, it is still important for residents to continuing making prevention their first priority. “We don’t want people to gain a false sense of security and ease up on their social distancing practices or other preventive measures. We know that COVID-19 is widespread in the state, and we all have a role to play in minimizing the spread here in Cass County,” said Beth.

All residents should:

  • Stay home as much as possible. Leave only for essential errands like groceries or getting medication. When you run these errands, send only one person from the household, if possible.
  • Stay home when even mildly ill (the kind of illness that normally wouldn’t prevent you from your everyday activities)
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house. Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)


  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)


  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home. Atlantic Medical Center, RHC offers telehealth appointments that can be used for some patients.