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Pinpointing where someone contracts the virus isn’t easy, officials say

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:17 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Johnson County had 17 new cases of coronavirus after 171 people were tested on Tuesday.

That’s down from last week when about 49 new cases were seen per day. Johnson County has a total of 1,142 cases.

Health officials said a lot of those people testing positive are young socially active young adults but pinpointing exactly where each person contracted the virus isn’t easy.

“I feel like less people are wearing masks than when it declined before,” Karin Chen, an international student at the University of Iowa from China, said.

Restaurants and bars were allowed to serve at full capacity and the death of George Floyd brought out large groups of protestors in small spaces. Johnson County Health Officials said social events similar to these were why the virus is spreading, though they can’t say for certain they are the only factors.

“There’s a lot of compounding factors and, certainly, a lot of things that happen pretty quickly,” Sam Jarvis, Johnson County community health manager, said. “Is it due to restrictions being lifted? Is it due to a person is not wearing a mask or physically distancing? Is it a person going about their day with mild symptoms or, potentially, no symptoms but they’re still a carrier of COVID-19? It’s probably a combination of all of the above.”

Jarvis said social young adults spreading the virus isn’t unique to Iowa City. It’s a trend being seen across the country.

“What we’re seeing here in Iowa City and other places in the state of Iowa, and across the nation, a trend in younger persons. And, more than likely, due to social events and gatherings,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said people need to remember to wear a mask covering when in public, keep at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands frequently. It’s this advice that Chen feels has kept her safe during this pandemic.

“If I don’t wear the mask then I will get [the virus],” Chen said.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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