Atlantic, IA — Cass County Health System (CCHS) officials reported today that preparations for possible COVID-19 cases continue on a daily basis. “While we have not had any COVID-19 cases identified in Cass County, we are working diligently to prepare for likely cases any day now,” said CCHS CEO Brett Altman. As of 5:00 pm on March 26, 2020, CCHS reports that there have been 29 people tested, with 20 negative results, while 9 results are still pending.
“We have learned from other rural counties that when they get their first case, people begin to speculate and social media blows up. We ask people to abstain from such speculation and rumors. We are doing our best to keep our community informed with good, reliable information as soon as it is available. Sharing misinformation or unfounded comments, whether in person or on social media, further confuses the community and adds to people’s fears and anxieties,” said CCHS Public Relations Coordinator Ann McCurdy.
CCHS employees are all trained and held accountable to HIPAA, which strictly protects patient privacy.
“Just because someone works at CCHS doesn’t mean they know anything more than the public, and even if they did, they couldn’t tell you. While we can’t control and don’t respond to rumors, we are saying this now before we have a case in an attempt to mitigate rumors, questions, and speculations if and when we get our first case,” said McCurdy. “If there is a positive test result, that announcement will be made in conjunction with Cass County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health. Like we have seen across the state, those announcements will not include information about the patient in order to protect their privacy.”