Kim Reynolds

Coronavirus Update - April 9, 2020

Kim Reynolds
April 09, 2020
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Good morning. First of all, we'll start with an update on the numbers. We had 125 new positive cases for a total of 1,270 positive cases. We had no new counties as of yesterday, so the total number of counties remains at 79. We had 882 negative cases for a total of 13,703 negative cases. We have the capacity to test, at the State Hygienic Lab, of 2,530 tests. We have 115 hospitalized as of yesterday. 476 recovered, for a recovery rate of 38%. And I am sorry to report that we have had an additional two deaths. One elderly and one older adult, both from Linn County for a total of 29 deaths. Yesterday I was joined by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Durham to update Iowans on our progress with the small business relief program. Today the United States Department of Labor announced that 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. Here in Iowa we continue to experience tens of thousands of claims filed weekly. I’ve asked our Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend to join me today to provide an update.

[Beth Townsend speaks]

Thank you, Beth, for that update and thank you to you and your team at Iowa Workforce Development for all that they are doing day in and day out to assist Iowans during this incredibly difficult time. We also this week, we have spent time reviewing information about the RMCCs — the Regional Medical Coordination Centers — that have been established by the Iowa National Guard, again, to support the Iowa Department of Public Health and our healthcare coalition's by facilitating communication, critical information sharing and coordinating healthcare resources within a region or across the state. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I shared information about the RMCCs in eastern and central Iowa — where our state’s hotspots are located. Today I want to highlight the RMCC regions in western Iowa. Region number three covers northwest Iowa. Currently this region has nine counties with no positive COVID-19 cases and a significant number of counties with three or less positive cases. As of yesterday, in region three, we had one COVID-19 patient that was hospitalized. No new patients were admitted in the last 24 hours. We have one that was in ICU and one on a ventilator, there are 399 inpatient beds, 32 ICU beds and 51 ventilators available and ready for patient care. And now we'll move to RMCC region four which covers southwest Iowa. Yesterday in region four there were four COVID-19 patients hospitalized, no new patients were admitted in the last 24 hours, three were in ICUs and one was on a ventilator. And there are 262 inpatient beds, 39 ICU beds and 58 ventilators still available for patient care.

Yesterday we also had calls and emails from people who were interested in seeing the data again for Eastern Iowa, so I want to provide a quick update on regions five and six. In region five — where Johnson County is located — there were 32 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of yesterday, seven new patients were admitted in the last 24 hours, 14 were in ICUs and 11 were on ventilators. There were 702 inpatient beds, 93 ICU beds and 167 ventilators available for patient care in that region. Region six, which includes Linn County — where an outbreak in a long-term care facility has resulted in many elderly adults becoming seriously ill. Yesterday, in region six, there were 48 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, four new patients were admitted in the last 24 hours, 32 patients are in ICUs and 17 were on ventilators. At the same time, there are 1,002 inpatient beds, 57 ICU beds and 119 ventilators available for patient care in region six. As we are seeing across all RMCC regions, Iowa's capacity to care for COVID-19 patients and available resources are very good at this time. We are monitoring this information daily and if the situation changes, we're ready to respond. The RMCC model is in place so that we can function as one health care system across the state working together to again, manage our resources and provide the best possible care for Iowans in need.

Even during this challenging time there are so many good things that are happening in our state and I want to acknowledge and thank the many Iowans who are stepping up to answer the call to help during this unprecedented time, especially the businesses and individuals that are producing PPE on a daily basis. Iowa’s own Department of Corrections and the Iowa Prison Industries have now produced more than 25,000 masks, 3,000 thousand gowns, 5,000 face shields and 7,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. Dimensional Graphics — a manufacturer in Mason City — is producing 100,000 face shields that will begin arriving this week to the state stockpile and distributed to health care and long-term care facilities in need. I want to again just say thanks to Homeland Security, the Iowa National Guard, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety for ensuring that as soon as those PPEs come into the state stockpile it is being loaded on trucks and delivered to where it’s needed. Today the state has made 353 deliveries across all 99 counties. And finally, everyday Iowans are rolling up their sleeves to help. Tara Carlson from Stratford bought a sewing machine, taught herself to sew face masks that so that she can donate them to local care centers. Her husband is a nurse practitioner so she understands how important it is to protect our healthcare workforce. Tara is also pregnant and when she can't sleep at night she gets up and sews. So far, she has made 147 face masks and have donated them all. Tara, I want to thank you and your husband for everything that you're doing to help Iowans during this time, be safe and take care of yourselves. So, if you can sew a face mask for your local health care and long-term care facilities, that is one way that you can help those on the frontlines during this pandemic. You can find more information about how to make those masks at And with that we will open it up for questions.

Reynolds, K.K. [Iowa PBS]. (2020, April 9). Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Press Conference | April 9, 2020, 11 a.m. []. Retrieved on June 10, 2020 from