DES MOINES, Iowa — Even as many restrictions due to COVID-19 continue to loosen, Polk County leaders said Thursday that residents aren't necessarily in the clear.
Officials said during a press conference that the per 100,000 number of cases in Iowa's largest county has increased. They say there have been more than 3,300 confirmed cases in Polk County, and an increase is expected.
"As you heard last week, we have still not yet turned the corner on COVID-19 in Polk County," Polk County Health Department Director Helen Eddy said. "And this is still true today. We continue to see significant continued community spread of the virus throughout Polk County."
Eddy noted the total number of deaths in Polk County has risen to 90 as of Thursday afternoon, an increase of 17 compared to the same time last week.
"I think that the message has to be consistent that things are going to reopen and if you're going to participate in those things, then you really need to follow the guidelines and guidance of staying apart wearing a mask, social distancing," Eddy said.
Towards the end of the press conference, Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly offered a plea to the public when it comes to protection from the virus.
"Everybody's gonna have their opinion one way or the other, whether they're gonna wear masks or not wear a mask," Connolly said. "Let's be respectful and kind to those that decide one way or the other, whether they want to wear a mask or not."
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