Open Letter From Clarke County Hospital, Emergency Management and Public Health

March 13, 2020

It’s an understatement to say that COVID-19 is on all our minds. It is part of all news reports and conversations that we have with our family, friends and co-workers. Our concerns about the virus are valid but those concerns should motivate us to be prepared rather than frightened. 

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clarke County.  However, with the goal of pre-emptive preparation, a community Incident Command Task Force was activated on March 2nd.  Clarke County Emergency Management, Clarke County Public Health, Clarke County Hospital, Southern Hills Specialty Care and Law Enforcement have developed a plan and related protocols that address the potential arrival of COVID-19 to Clarke County. 

Following guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as internal policies and procedures from the organizations involved, the plan addresses:

  • Communication and Education
  • Infection Prevention & Control
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Emergency Services Safety & Support
  • Supply Chain Logistics

While the COVID-19 situation is fluid and will be adjusted as new information is received, we want to assure you that we are preparing for the possible arrival of COVID–19 to Clarke County.

The most important issue right now for our community is to make sure we are getting up to date and factual information about COVID–19.  Many media outlets, social media sites and individuals have created panic within some segments of our population through the spread of misinformation and rumors.  We all recognize that COVID–19 is a health threat throughout the world.  However, preparation and implementing proper prevention criteria will go far in limiting community spread in Clarke County.  

Below are trusted resources of information on COVID–19:

211 IOWA or call: 2-1-1, or 515-246-6555

Disease Control and Prevention at

Iowa Department of Public Health at 

Clarke County Public Health at 

            Clarke County Hospital at

Please help us reinforce the importance of using these trusted resources for up to date information on COVID–19.  We understand the community has a lot of questions and going to an information source that is factual is the first step in addressing the many issues that the possible arrival of COVID–19 presents to Clarke County.


Mackenzie Nelson                  Byron Jimmerson                   Brian Evans

CCPH                                     CCEM                                     CCH