Kim Reynolds

Coronavirus Update - April 3, 2020

Kim Reynolds
April 03, 2020
Print friendly

Good afternoon. We'll start as normal with an update on the numbers from earlier this morning. Today we had 85 new positive cases in three new counties for a total of 699 positive cases in 65 counties. We had 710 negative cases today with a total of 8,764 negative cases. Total tests available at the State Hygienic Lab is 2,500. We have 80 Iowans hospitalized as of last evening we have a 188 recovered and today we have no new deaths.

Every day my office receives hundreds of calls and emails from Iowans looking for answers about what’s happening with our COVID-19 mitigation efforts, how we are making decisions and what it means for their families. Today, I'd like to address some of the top issues that are on the minds of Iowans. At yesterday's press conference we shared additional information about the metrics that we have been using to assess and guide our COVID-19 mitigation efforts here in Iowa. And many Iowans, they wanted to know more about the metrics and who put them together and really what was involved in that. The metrics were developed by Dr. Pedati who is in daily consultation with her team of epidemiologists in Iowa Department of Public Health Center for acute disease epidemiology and other experts in Iowa and across the country. These experts include local public health administrators and their teams, local emergency managers, clinical personnel and EMS providers. She also consults with the Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council, which includes physicians and experts from across Iowa including a number of infectious disease and emergency medicine physicians. Dr. Pedati also participates in weekly calls with state epidemiologists from across the country and the CDC's incident command team. And I want to say how very fortunate we are to have the expertise of Dr. Pedati and her entire team. So, I just again want to say thank you to you and your team for all that you're doing for Iowans.

People have also asked questions about Iowa's regional map that we shared yesterday, how it was created and why Linn and Johnson counties are in different regions and why we look at the state from a regional perspective. So, I would like to invite a Sarah Reister to provide information on this topic.

[Sarah Reister speaks]

Thanks, Sarah. Iowans are also watching news coverage about the healthcare surge in other states and they want reassurance that our hospitals are ready and equipped to provide care for Iowa's cases as cases are rising. Dr. Pedati, I think you're the best person to address this concern.

[Dr. Pedati speaks]

Thank you, Dr. Pedati. And finally, I want to directly address the issue of shelter in place. So, Iowans of all walks of life are either strongly in favor or strongly opposed to sheltering in place and this has become a divisive issue at a time when we must be united in our response to this crisis. I want Iowans to understand that we have taken significant and incremental steps to mitigate the spread of the virus. Since we identified our first case in Iowa on March 8th. We were ahead of many states in our response efforts and we continued to dial up our mitigation efforts, again, based on data that was presented from the experts in the Iowa Department of Public Health. I signed a proclamation of disaster emergency on March 8th and fully activated the State Emergency Operations Center, or SEOC. And in the days and weeks since, signed a proclamation on March 15th recommending Iowa schools closed for four weeks for which they all did. On March 17th I ordered business closings including restaurants and bars and restricted mass gatherings and social gatherings to ten people or less. On March 22nd I ordered additional businesses including salons and barbershops close. On March 26th I ordered all non-essential and elective surgical, dental and orthodontic procedures and closed several types of additional retail stores and businesses. Yesterday I ordered school closures through April 30th and extended all existing business closures or existing service suspensions, all regulatory relief and restrictions of mass gatherings to ten people through April 30th. So, if you did a side-by-side comparison of what we are doing in Iowa and what other states are doing they are much the same. Even those states that have implemented shelter in place orders have kept the majority of their businesses open similar to our orders. As we continue to evaluate our data and make the recommendations of the Department of Public Health and the CDC if additional action is necessary to protect the health and safety of Iowans I will do so, but again, it will be based on data and metrics that are provided to me by the experts through the Department of Public Health.

One of the things that I have asked Iowans since the start is to remain calm and to be informed. The term shelter-in-place does not mean that any states orders are different from or stronger than what we are doing in Iowa, what matters is the substance in the order not its name. We are in this together so I'm asking every Iowan be informed about this issue, including the media. We all have a responsibility and a role to play. You have an important responsibility at this time, so please help elevate and amplify the message that we are saying to Iowans, that they need to stay home if it's possible. The best way that we can prevent being exposed and exposing others is by staying at home. Go out only for essential errands and do it one at a time. Practice social distancing of six feet or less, enjoy outdoor activities but do it responsibly. Work from home if you can and if you can’t practice good hygiene, disinfecting your area and again social distancing when possible and isolate yourself if you are sick and stay home 24 hours after your symptom-free. If we can do this and be responsible then we will be able to get through this pandemic sooner rather than later. So, we are in this together and if we all do what we need to do and be responsible for our actions we will accomplish everything that we’ve set out to accomplish since we first entered into this on March 8. So, with that we'll go ahead and open it up for questions.

Reynolds, K.K. [DMRegister]. (2020, April 3). Gov. Kim Reynolds updates Iowans on the COVID-19 outbreak in Iowa (4.3.20) []. Retrieved on June 2, 2020 from