Nearly 200 positive COVID-19 cases in Dubuque County; 16 hospitalized

By JAKE HEELEIN (LCTV)

Health officials in Dubuque County continue their fight to provide medical aid to those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  According to the Dubuque County Health department’s May 11th update on their website, it has been reported that as of May 9th, there are 12,912 positive cases in the state of Iowa and 197 cases in Dubuque County. In Dubuque County, 16 residents are currently hospitalized.

Both MercyOne and Unity Point hospitals in Dubuque continue to provide inpatient care for patients in need of hospitalization while experiencing extreme cases of COVID-19.  Nurses in the Medical Unit at MercyOne hospital collaboratively answered my questions regarding their experiences working inside a Coronavirus Care Ward.

In order to stay safe while treating patients that are infected with COVID-19, precautions must be put into place.  To begin with, hospitals are using proper PPE while treating patients.  According to nurses at MercyOne, PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, consist of “gloves, masks, eyewear, gowns, hair coverings, and shoe coverings.”  In addition to these PPEs, nurses have also begun delivering food to patients through disposable products. “It decreases the risk of the contamination leaving the room,” stated MercyOne nurses.

Even with the necessary precautions put into place, challenges continue to arrive for both medical professionals and their patients.

“Media has played a big part in making this process very fearful for all involved. It takes an emotional toll not only on patients but also the caregivers.”

MercyOne Nurses

In addition to these fears, it seems loneliness has also taken root inside many patients.  “Their loved ones are not able to be with the patients in order to protect themselves and the communities.”  In order to combat patients’ time of isolation, hospitals have begun using technology including daily phone calls, Zoom, FaceTime, and other communication apps.

Yet even despite these stressful circumstances, medical professionals have found a way to continue to support and lift each other up.

“Teamwork has been great across the hospital with everyone stepping in to help in any capacity, from cleaning, to education, to caring for all patients.”

MercyOne Nurses

As for parting words, the nurses at MercyOne wanted to leave readers with a message of hope.  “Keep staying strong. The more you do to protect yourself helps protect others.”

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