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COVID-19 positivity rates are being discussed frequently and are factors that can contribute to changes in our schools, extracurricular activities, and in our workforce. The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is generally taken as a sign that more infections are going unreported, and that the virus, in general, is spreading more aggressively.

Some frequently asked questions include:

What does the positivity rate mean?

The percentage positive reflects the past 14 day average of positive COVID-19 cases, based upon the total number of individuals tested in the county.

If the county has a higher positivity rate, what could it affect regarding schools?

Once a county reaches 15% positivity AND 10% absenteeism among students, the district can request temporary authorization to move to 100% online or remote learning. With this, school events, sports, and gatherings could also be canceled.

Where can I find my county’s positivity rate?

The state website, coronavirus.iowa.gov maintains the positivity rate and other information related to COVID-19.

Currently, as of Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 at 12:30 p.m., area county positivity rates are as follows (organized highest to lowest):

Delaware County: 14%

Clayton County: 8.9%

Dubuque County: 7.3%

Jones County: 6.9%

Linn County: 5.8%

Fayette County: 3.9%

Buchanan County: 3.1%

What can you do to help?

MASK UP. AVOID LARGE GATHERINGS. STAY HOME when you are ill. WASH your hands.