State enhances COVID-19 website

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Gov. Kim Reynolds ran behind in delivering her 11 a.m. press conference regarding COVID-19. Bugs were still being worked out regarding the state’s website dedicated to information regarding the virus, including new enhancements.

There are 189 new positive cases in Iowa today, with 86 of them tied to the Tyson plant in Columbus Junction in Louisa County. Louisa County is along the southeastern border of Iowa and Illinois. Reynolds reports that public health officials are working with the plant to try to curb the outbreak while maintaining the food supply chain.

“Louisa County has been very proactive,” Reynolds said. Tyson, as a corporation, was already screening workers, providing personal protective equipment and taking other actions prior to the State’s involvement, Reynolds added.

There were three more reported outbreaks in the state – all in long-term care facilities. They include two facilities in Polk County and one in Bremer County.

Totals for this morning include 1,899 total positive cases in Iowa, among 82 counties. Of those tested in the state, 17,467 have tested negative, with 481 additional negative tests today. Iowa has 3,415 tests available, there are 463 hospitalized, 790 people have recovered (42 percent) and six more deaths are attributed to COVID-19 for a total of 49.

Marion County’s total number of confirmed positive cases remains at three, with 19 people tested in the county. Dr. Caitlin Pedati, State Medical Director and Epidemiologist, explained that she continues to study trends and patterns among populations to further understand the epidemic. She continues to expand and update who is tested, as more tests become available every day.

Reynolds is looking at the metrics to see when the state can “reopen”. She is not making any target dates at this time, but hopes to have more information to make decisions in May. There was no mention regarding schools reopening, as local school officials hope to know by the end of the week if classes can resume as normal on May 1. When asked about it, Reynolds said she has been in communication with other Midwestern governors about reopening businesses, but ultimately, each governor will make his/her own decision based upon the numbers and what is best for individual states.

The first case of COVID-19 in US was reported 81 days ago on 1/22/2020. Since then, the country has reported 584,073 cases, and 23,709 deaths. 44,319 have recovered. (Last Updated:4/14/2020, 10:51:07 AM https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html)

Reynolds is expected to have another press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 15.