At three-week mark, governor highlights COVID-19 response efforts

With Sunday marking three weeks since the first positive COVID-19 cases were announced in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds noted the dramatic changes and adjustments to everyday life for Iowans while highlighting the cooperative efforts her team has had with state and national agencies, up to and including Vice President Pence, to ensure Iowa was prepared and ready to respond to the crisis.

“Just as Iowa families are adjusting to living and working and learning under the same roof, so are families in every single state,” she said. “And workers across Iowa and America are facing the reality of suddenly being out of a job and worried about making ends meet and supporting their families, while business owners are wondering when or how they’ll reopen their doors. The impact of COVID-19 is being felt coast to coast and we are responding as one nation.”

Sen. Joni Ernst also joined remotely to break down the stimulus packages she, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Iowa’s congressional delegation had worked on — including the recently passed CARES Act signed Friday by President Donald Trump — to aid individuals and small businesses in Iowa and nationally.

Gov. Reynolds noted as the state continues to increase the capacity for testing, and more tests are run on a daily basis, it will produce higher numbers of positive and negative results. She added an increase in positive cases was expected during this time, and will likely continue, as Iowans who have recently traveled for spring break and may have been exposed to the virus are still in the 14-day incubation period. She assured, however, most – about 80 percent – will only experience mild symptoms and can fully recover at home with little or no medical attention.

That said, she also reminded people to stay at home as much as possible, even if healthy; limit time away from home to trips for essentials like groceries, medications and necessary supplies; stay home if children or you are sick; contact medical providers before going in; work from home if allowed; keep the entire household home if someone in the household has tested positive for the coronavirus; and that older Iowans or those with chronic health issues should stay home and away from other people.

“Regardless of what age or what risk group you are in, it is so important we all do our part to protect our fellow Iowans,” she said.

Once again, the governor also took the time to recognize organizations that were stepping up to help, including both MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, who both donated thousands of masks their technicians normally use in client’s homes to health care providers, and the Department of Corrections and Iowa Prison Industries, who are producing hand sanitizer and critical PPE items.

“Iowans are always willing to lend their hearts and their hands during these times of need and I just want to say thanks for your generosity, you certainly make us proud,” she said.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) was notified of 38 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, it announced Sunday, and 64 additional positive cases Saturday, for a total of 336 positive cases. There have been a total of 5,013 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

According to IDPH, one Iowan with COVID-19 passed away Saturday night, an older adult (61-80 years) from Linn County.

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 38 individuals include:

  • Cedar County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Cerro Gordo County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Dallas County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Dubuque County, 1 child (0-17 years), 2 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Henry County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Iowa County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Jasper County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Johnson County, 2 adults (18-40), 2 middle-aged adults (41-60 years)
  • Linn County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 3 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Marshall County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Polk County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 2 middle-aged adults (41-60 years) 5 older adults (61-80 years),1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Tama County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Washington County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years), 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Winneshiek County 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Woodbury County, 1 adult (18-40 years)

A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa is provided by IDPH and can be found here. In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.

The state of Iowa has started sharing the number of negative tests conducted at outside labs, and is providing additional information on the conditions of those infected with COVID-19.

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