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As Iowans prepare to celebrate the accomplishments of American workers and mark the unofficial end of summer vacation this Labor Day weekend,Benton County Public Healthurges residents to be informed about how COVID-19 spreads and steps they can take to reduce the spread of the virus.

"The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place," said County Public Health DirectorKatie Cox."The virus is known to spread easily among people when an infected person is within about six feet of another person. You could infect others even if you don't feel sick or aren't exhibiting any symptoms of the virus."


If you do attend a party or gathering, practicing good social distancing by staying at least six feet from others, and wearing a mask are the best defenses against the virus.

"Anyone who isn't feelingwell oris experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 which includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should stay home and monitor their symptoms," saidCox."The elderly, those with chronic health conditions like diabetes, obesity, or conditions that weaken their immune system are at a much higher risk of serious complications from the virus and should take extra precautions to stay healthy."

The Iowa Department of Public Health has publishedguidance for holiday gatheringsto help Iowans stay safe if they choose to gather with family or friends this weekend.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage athttps://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirusand follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealthand on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

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