Kim Reynolds

Coronavirus Update - April 6, 2020

Kim Reynolds
April 06, 2020
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Good morning. Iowa's fight against COVID-19 is real and I want to acknowledge that the last week has been especially hard. We've been anticipating that our numbers of COVID-19 cases would climb and last week we saw that happen. We had an additional 444 cases and most unfortunately, we had an additional 16 deaths. My sincerest condolences go out to the families the caretakers and the communities of the Iowans that we've lost to this terrible virus. Today's update of the numbers include, 78 new positive cases, four new counties for a total of 946 positive in 75 counties. We had 680 negative cases today for a total of 10,653 negative cases. The State Hygienic Lab has the capability of testing 1,850. We have 99 hospitalized as of last evening, we have 284 recovered and I am sorry to report that we have had three additional deaths. One older adult in Linn County and two elderly adults in Tama County for a total of 25 deaths in Iowa. Unfortunately, we expect this week will be equally, if not more difficult. As we've seen over the last few weeks, COVID-19 possesses the most risk of serious illness among older adults above the age of 60 and those with chronic and underlying health conditions. Often resulting in more severe a more severe illness and an increased risk of death.

Even with the significant and proactive measures we took beginning on March 10th to restrict visitors at to long-term care facilities and a screen staff before entering for work, 10% of the state's total number of positive cases are among residents and staff of long-term care facilities and 48% of our deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities. In Linn County alone, 71 of their 175 total positive cases are directly related to an outbreak in a single long-term care facility. Two additional outbreaks have been identified in long-term care facilities in Tama and Washington counties. The Department of Public Health and the local public health officials continue to work closely with Iowa’s long-term care associations and facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in those settings and respond when residents and staff become ill, but every Iowan has a responsibility to keep our families, friends and communities safe, especially our most vulnerable and our health care workers who are serving on the frontlines of this crisis. They don't have the luxury of staying home. These heroes among us are putting their fears aside and showing up to take care of us and we need to do our part by taking care of them. We need to stay home and we need to be responsible. I know that I've asked a lot of Iowans over the course of the last month and today I’m asking more. Since the earliest days after confirming COVID-19 was here in Iowa, I issued a proclamation of disaster emergency and I have taken targeted systemic approach and driven by data from our state's public health experts, epidemiologist team and guidance from the CDC. To implementing significant mitigation strategies aimed at slowing the spread of the virus such as ordering schools and businesses to close, postponing elective and non-essential surgeries and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Today, I'm ordering additional businesses and establishments to close through April 30th including malls, social and fraternal clubs, bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, amusement parks, libraries, museums, zoos, skating rinks and parks, outdoor and indoor playgrounds or children's play centers, tobacco and vaping stores, racetracks, toy, gaming, music, instrument and movie stores and campgrounds. All of the closures and restrictions outlined in the disaster emergency proclamations will be enforced, specifically the limitation on social gatherings. At this time, I'd like to invite Commissioner Bayens from the Department of Public Safety say a few words about how the state and local communities are working together.

[Commissioner Bayens speaks]

Thank You Commissioner, and thank you to our local government officials and our law enforcement for your support in this effort. You know, I believe Iowans care about doing the right thing for the greater good and I believe we all want to protect the most vulnerable among us and safeguard our health care providers and essential workers who are the heroes during this uncertain time. I believe that most Iowans are being responsible, but I need every Iowan to take responsibility for their health and the health of others. This week its critical, stay home. The best way to avoid being exposed to the virus or exposing others is to stay home as much as possible, leave home only for essential errands like getting groceries, necessary supplies for medicine needs. Send only one person from your household and go to as few places as possible. Practice social distancing, always keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others regardless if you're out in public or just outside in your neighborhood. Enjoy outdoor activities responsibly, get outside. It’s important for your physical and mental well-being but again, maintain social distancing of 6 feet between yourself and others and don't gather in groups of more than 10 people. Work from home if you can and only go to work if necessary. If your job requires you to work at a physical location, practice social distancing, careful hygiene and frequently disinfect your work area and isolate yourself if you're sick. If you or a family member has symptoms of a mild illness stay home, wait 7 days from the onset of your symptoms and at least 72 hours from the time all symptoms have resolved to return to normal activities. Let’s all do the right thing right now to protect each other. To all of our health care providers and essential workers, thank you. I know this is especially difficult for all of you, you are our warriors and we can't win this fight without you. Thank you for showing up and for being the best self for the people who are counting on you. Please know that we have your back and we'll do everything we can to support you through this time. Be safe and stay well and we will get through this together.

In closing, I just wanted to let Iowans know that we are making some changes to the press conferences. Starting this week we will be holding them Monday through Friday, we'll take a look at Sunday but they will be at 11 a.m. going forward. So I want to thank Iowa PBS for accommodating this change and for being such a great partner during this time. And thank you to all of the media outlets and reporters for your flexibility. And with that we'll go ahead and take questions.

Reynolds. K.K. [DMRegister]. (2020, April 6). Gov. Kim Reynolds updates Iowans on the COVID-19 outbreak in Iowa (4.6.20) []. Retrieved on June 4, 2020 from