Kim Reynolds

Coronavirus Update - March 29, 2020

Kim Reynolds
March 29, 2020
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Good afternoon. Before I get started, I did want to give an update on some of the weather that went through the state yesterday evening. I want to acknowledge that the communities that were impacted with the severe weather that we had yesterday. A tornado did cause damage in Oelwein, including an apartment building where 12 families were impacted and are being assisted by the Red Cross while damage is being assessed. A farm in Adair County also sustains some damages due to the storm and we’re just grateful that these families are safe and we will assist them in their recovery.

Now for an update on the number of COVID-19 cases in Iowa. We had 38 new positive cases today for a total of 336 positive cases. 638 negative cases today for a total of 5,013 negative tests. We have 51 hospitalized as of last evening and I am so sorry to report that we have had one additional death for a total of four. The tests available for individuals through the state hygienic lab is 840. As we continue to increase our capacity for testing at the state hygienic lab and other labs, more tests are being ran on a daily basis resulting in higher numbers in positive and negative results.

Over the last two weeks we've taken significant steps to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19 we've recommended schools closed for four weeks, reduced gatherings to ten people or less in social, community, faith activities, recreational leisure and sporting events. We've encouraged work from home when possible and social distancing. Ordered many businesses to close including restaurants, bars except for carryout, delivery and pickup. Because of the incubation period of the virus is 14 days. We've been expecting an increase of positive cases during this time and we expect that it will continue as Iowans have recently traveled for Spring Break and may have been exposed to the virus are still in that incubation period. It's also important to keep in mind that most people — about 80% — who get the virus will experience only mild symptoms and can fully recover at home with little or no medical attention. Regardless of what age or risk group you're in, it is so important that we all do our part to protect our fellow Iowans. Stay at home as much as possible — even if you’re healthy — limit your time away from home to trips for essentials like groceries, medications, and necessary supplies. If your children or you are sick stay home, contact your medical provider before going in. If your job allows you to work from home do so. If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. If you're an older Iowan or person with chronic health issues, stay home and away from other people.

Today marks three weeks since we announced the first positive COVID-19 cases in Iowa. In that time our way of life and how we do business has changed dramatically here in Iowa, and all across the country. And just as Iowa families are adjusting to living and working and learning under the same roof, so are families in every single state. 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. For several weeks my team has been working with our state agencies, local partners, elected officials, EMA, local public health and first responders, law enforcement and hospitals and health care workers, the Iowa National Guard, the private sector and other governors along with Vice President Pence and the President’s corona task force. All of this, in an effort to ensure Iowa was prepared and ready to respond. I've also remained in close contact with Iowa's congressional delegation who have been working diligently at the federal level to ensure Iowans and Iowa would have the support it needs. Today I'm pleased to have senator Joni Ernst join me from her home in red oak to share her perspective of the coronavirus response at a national level and update us on the Cares Act which the President signed on Friday. So, thank you for joining us today Senator, and with that I'll turn it over to you.

[Senator Ernst speaks]

Thank you, thanks Joni. I appreciate that very much, appreciate the work in Washington on behalf of all of us. In that overview of what's included in the different packages that have been signed and gone out from the federal level. We’re gonna continue to work at the state level and get Iowans the information so they can understand how the state and the federal packages work together to make sure that we're meeting the needs of Iowans during this critical time. I also just before we wrap up and take questions — and I believe Senator Ernst is gonna stay on the line so if you have a question for her she'll be available for that as well — but I want to take this opportunity to thank the many people and businesses who are making a difference, whether it’s through individual acts of kindness or by offering solutions that will impact many. I'll give you a couple examples, Mid American and Alliant Energy both donated thousands of masks for health care providers. Under normal circumstances their technicians use the masks when working in client homes but both companies wanted them to be put to better use at this time. So, again, thank you for answering this critical need. The Department of Corrections and the Iowa Prison Industries are producing hand sanitizer, critical PPE items including masks and gloves and gowns that will be distributed through our state stockpile to health care facilities and state residential facilities managed by the Department of Human Services. And during tomorrow’s press conference — we’re just teasing you a little bit with a couple of good things because we're going to be highlighting many many more examples of how the private sector has really stood up to retrofit and really work with people across the state to help us address some of our PPE concerns. So, 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 and I look forward to letting Iowans know a little bit more about those amazing stories that are happening across our state tomorrow. So, with that we will go ahead and open it up for questions.

Reynolds, K.K. [DMRegister]. (2020, March 29). Gov. Kim Reynolds updates Iowans on the COVID-19 outbreak in Iowa (3.29.20) []. Retrieved on May 21, 2020 from