Guidance for Preventing COVID-19 Spread Within Long Term Care Facilities

LINN COUNTY, IA – Linn County Public Health is working closely with a local long-term care facility in response to a COVID-19 outbreak. The Iowa Department of Public Health and Linn County Public Health are working closely with this facility to assess the needs of the facility, staff, and residents and prevent spread of illness. 

Residents living in long-term care facilities are at high risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19. For this reason, the Iowa Department of Public Health issued guidance for long-term care facilities in early March, which includes visitor restrictions, symptom screening for staff, and reporting possible outbreaks of respiratory illness.    

Employees of long-term care facilities or other organizations that serve older adults or individuals with underlying health concerns should not go to work if they are sick, no matter how mild the symptoms. “We are encouraging all healthcare providers at all levels of service to stay home when ill. This is especially true for those that work or interact with a vulnerable population such as an older adult or individuals with underlying health conditions.” said Heather Meador, Clinical Branch Supervisor at Linn County Public Health.

Any person that is ill should stay home and not return to work until: 

1.You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of fever reducing medicine) AND

2.Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND

3.At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

All individuals must practice social distancing and everyday prevention actions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Even young, otherwise healthy adults are at risk, and their actions can increase the risk for others.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit:

·Linn County Public Health website:

·Iowa Department of Public Health website:

·The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.

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