Good afternoon, thank you all for being here this afternoon. Earlier this afternoon, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab confirmed Iowa’s first three presumptive positive cases of coronavirus. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and their families and our priority now is their full recovery and doing what’s necessary to contain the virus and protect the health of all Iowans. While this news is concerning, it’s not cause for alarm. The most important thing that we can do right now is to remain calm, understand the situation, and stay informed in the days and weeks ahead. We are committed to transparency and keeping the public informed. What I can share with you now is that three individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus all live in Johnson County and recently were on the same cruise in Egypt. None required hospitalization and are recovering at home in isolation. We’re still in the early stages of gathering all the information necessary to fully assess the situation and prepare for the next steps and as soon as we know more, you’ll know more. As the number of positive coronavirus cases has been increasing across the nation, we’ve been proactively preparing for the likelihood that it would arrive in Iowa. The Department of Public Health has been planning and assessing resources across hospitals and with health care providers. In addition, they have held informational webinars for health care providers, schools, businesses, and other organizations to help ensure Iowans are aware and prepared. State departments have been assessing their operational plans to prepare for continuity of services and earlier this week I directed the State Emergency Operations Center to partially activate in preparation. Given today’s developments, I have ordered that the SEOC is now fully activated so that we can coordinate a statewide response to best meet the needs of Iowans during this time.
With me today are leaders from the Iowa Public Health, Homeland Security, and the Iowa National Guard who will provide more information about the situation and answer your questions. I want to thank them and their teams for all that they’ve done and all that they will continue to do to monitor and manage the developing situation. In addition to the work we’re doing at the state level, we are also engaged at the federal level through the President’s coronavirus task force that’s led by Vice President Mike Pence and we are in contact with other governors and leaders in our neighboring states and across the country that are actively managing coronavirus cases as well. I want Iowans to know that I am confident we are prepared, that we take this situation seriously, and we will manage it responsibly. I ask the same of every Iowan. The most important thing that you can do is to stay informed, know the facts about the virus, how to prevent it, and what to do if you are sick. So now I want to introduce Director Clabaugh who’s the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health and he will provide some additional information about today’s developments and what we can expect going forward.
[Other officials speak]
Reynolds, K.K. [DMRegister]. (2020, March 8). 3 test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus in Iowa [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXnI-jVkp9s&t=778s]. Retrieved on March 13, 2020 from https://www.youtube.com/user/DMRegister.