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Local officials reflect on one years since first COVID-19 cases identified in Iowa

MASON CITY — Local officials are reflecting back on the past year as today is the one-year mark since Iowa’s first COVID-19 cases were identified.

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health director Brian Hanft says some tough decisions have had to be made throughout the last year by everyone.   “You think about the heartache that we’ve gone through with the people that we’ve impacted with the decisions we’ve had to make that is public health’s focus. It’s hard to put into words reflecting back over the course of a year and all the things that have had to be said or done in order to try to protect life. That’s never really hit home for me personally like this has.”

Mason City’s mayor Bill Schickel agrees with Hanft that government agencies like the city and the county health department have ended up working well together during the pandemic.   “I’ve seen in the healthcare industry too where you Brian and Public Health, the hospital really working together to combat this thing.  I think often in government and different organizations, we operate in our own little world. This has really caused a lot of people to step up and work together and to me that’s been one of the biggest rewards.”

While the first cases of COVID-19 in the state were identified in Johnson County, the first case in Cerro Gordo County was not identified until March 21st, with the first death in the county being reported on May 21st



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