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EXCLUSIVE: Linn County on high alert after sudden spike in COVID-19 cases

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Linn County Health Department offices say community transmission of COVID-19 is a serious concern for eastern Iowa.

Lori Mitchell and her friends has met every Tuesday morning for the last 25 years but the normal meetup spot is still closed so this group is forced to relocate to Noelridge Park.

"We thought we would do it outside and stay six feet apart," Mitchell said.

She and her friend Cindy said they notice a lot of people letting their guard down against COVID.

"Restaurants and parking lots are busy," Cindy Erikson explained. "People eating inside. I'm tired of it but I'm not tired enough to stop being careful."

Heather Meador with the Linn County Health Department said community spread is the greatest threat to life in eastern Iowa.

"The reopening may be giving people a false sense of security with things are better when they are not," Meador explained. "The virus is still in our community and transmitting person-to-person."

Linn County has 160 active cases as of Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m.

That's an activity rate increase of 55.34% from June 15.

"We are seeing babies to the very old," Meador shared. "It means it's throughout our community and impacts everyone."

Meador said the governor's decision to reopen the state is not the problem. It's people's decision to ignore health guidelines to keep themselves and neighbors safe.

She said there will be a vaccine but it's our decisions right now that will save lives.

Iowa's News Now Anchor David Amelotti asked how likely are we to have a second wave to force our state to lock back down, "I wish I had the answer. I don't know. We don't know what the future will hold. We are still learning about this virus. Until it happens, we won't know. I wish i could say but seeing more cases come through is a concern."

Meador said people must continue to social distance, wear a mask, and wash hands often.

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If a person is sick they are recommended to stay home: Three days with no fever and ten days from the start of one's illness.

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