In response to a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment, the State of Iowa has released a new order that includes guidelines from the Center for Disease Control regarding the use of it.
Among the requests made to extend the life of equipment already available, providers are asked to decrease contact with patients to decrease demand for it. The State has previously issued a temporary ban on non-essential procedures and encourages the use of telemedicine as much as possible.
The trend line for new cases of COVID-19 in Iowa is flat. Actions taken today are not in response to an expected spike in cases in the state, just to the shortage of PPE. As more supplies become available, there may be changes to the restrictions.
According to the Governor, there are 118 new positive cases of COVID-19 as of this morning for a total of 1,338 positive tests in Iowa across 81 counties. Of those tested, 862 came back negative today for a total of 14,565 negative cases. At the time of the press conference, there were 119 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 506 (36 percent) have recovered. There were two additional deaths in Iowa for a total of 31.
Reynolds also shared the increased demand placed on food banks since the pandemic. The closure of many businesses as the government tries to stop the spread has led to a rise in unemployment and put further strains on families who were already struggling. Applications for food assistance in March 2020 was up 65 percent over the same period in 2019.
A task force has been formed to try to help Iowans get the food assistance they need. Several companies have donated thousands of pounds of food and dairy products to help the less fortunate during the pandemic.