Harvey County COVID-19 victim recovers

NEWTON — Lynette Redington, director of the Harvey County Health Department, had some good news during her weekly Public Health Preparedness Report to the county commission Tuesday.

“Our one presumptive positive case [of COVID-19] has recovered,” Redington said. “He has been released from isolation.”

He is one of the vast majority of those who become infected to survive. He was not hospitalized.

The Heatlh Department announced the first presumptive positive case March 26, a 20-year old male. He was isolated in his home. Health officials did not reveal his hometown or his employer.

The county later revealed the victim had been in contact with someone in another county that was found to have COVID-19.

“All those individuals were contacted, and they were either already in self quarantine or the time has gone up for them,” Redington said.

Chief: Stopping travel ‘is not happening in Ottawa’

OTTAWA — The coronavirus pandemic continues to changes aspects of daily life, but residents’ freedom to travel is still intact, Ottawa’s police chief confirmed.

“We have fielded questions from people about law enforcement stopping people or asking for ID or papers to move. That is not happening in Ottawa,” said Ottawa Police Chief Adam Weingartner. “We are not stopping people related to the county health officer orders. If you are stopped we will ask the same questions asked before this unique time in our lives.”

The pandemic is, however, changing how law enforcement officers carry out their duties. In response to the threat the virus presents to staffing and other vital functions within agencies, the Ottawa Police Department has been implementing changes over the past month to protect officers and other staff.

“The first few important changes I instituted to help enforce social distancing was to switch to a virtual roll call every morning at 8 a.m.,” Weingartner said. “We also space out when officers can return to the station for breaks or to transfer cars to the next shift.”