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Schools, businesses taking steps to prepare for spread of coronavirus

Part of Cornell College's campus on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Josh Scheinblum/KCRG)
Part of Cornell College's campus on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Josh Scheinblum/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 5:25 PM CST
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Employers and colleges in eastern Iowa are taking precautions against the coronavirus.

showed that there are no coronavirus cases in Iowa. Two people do have pending tests.

Cornell College health administrators said they are watching those government figures following the spread of coronavirus closely. They are concerned that on a campus where around 1,300 students and staff work and learn a contagious disease could spread quickly.

Nancy Reasland, Cornell's director of student health services, stressed that while it's important to remain calm over coronavirus, it is also vital to plan on how to deal with the disease now. A team of school officials at Cornell is working to determine where a student should be quarantined who has the virus, along with how they would get that person food and their clothes cleaned.

The college is also adding extra hand sanitizer stations, has stepped up cleaning efforts around food areas, and have sent out correspondence to the community informing them of best hygiene practices.

"I expect that it will be in Iowa, I expect that it will be pretty much everywhere," Reasland said. "That's why it is important to prepare, get that public health message out and realize that most people are going to have a mild to moderate illness."

Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids is another place that is taking steps of their own in the wake of coronavirus concerns. A spokesperson for the company said they are monitoring reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are asking employees to stay home they feel sick.

No matter where one may or may not work, the CDC recommends everyone avoid close contact with people who are sick and that you wash your hands often.

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