Stay Home If You Feel Sick

Although COVID transmission in Polk County remains at a high level, other viruses are circulating and causing significant amounts of illness in our community. The result is an increased load on our health care and hospital systems.

How can you help?

Stay home if you feel sick! You should be symptom-free for 24hrs before returning to school, activities, or work. This is the single most important thing you can do for yourself and our community.

  • Although it is tempting to just push through it, many illnesses that produce common symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, fatigue, etc.) have the potential to be contagious. This means they can spread from one person to another. Staying home when sick helps slow the spread.
  • But wait–it’s just a cold! A cold is still contagious to others.
  • But wait–it’s just allergies! While it might be allergies, there is no way to know without testing for other things.  If you are prone to allergies, please talk with your doctor about which allergy medication might work best for you and take it consistently.


See your healthcare proivder and consider testing for COVID. The only way to know it’s not COVID, is to test. Remember to stay home while the test is pending. If it comes back negative but you still feel sick, please stay home. If your symptoms do not improve, follow-up again with your healthcare provider.

Wash your hands.

Get vaccinated. Flu season is just around the corner. Many providers will offer a flu shot and COVID vaccine at the same visit.  This is safe and saves you time. To find a provider, visit Welcome to the Polk County, Iowa Vaccination Sign-Up | Polk County (

Many important events are just around the corner – Homecoming, Halloween, the Des Moines marathon, other fall gatherings.  Please do your part to help keep our community healthy and safe!

Jasmine L Lester BSN RN she/her/hers

Central Campus/Central Academy/4+ Programs

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Phone: 515-242-7779

Fax: 515-242-7598

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