Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the State’s new website for screening Iowans for eligibility to receive a COVID-19 test on Tuesday. By the time she took the podium for her daily update on Wednesday, April 22, over 80,000 people had already taken the survey.
Reynolds was thankful for so many Iowans responding to the website, as a first step of better understanding of where COVID-19 may be lurking and trying to stop its further spread. As it stands, there are 84 of 99 counties in Iowa with a confirmed case of the virus. However, 70 percent of the positive cases in Iowa are within eight counties.
The Governor received some backlash for not mentioning other ways to “test Iowa” for those without Internet access. These individuals may be able to take the assessment by dialing the 211 line set up for this pandemic, calling the Governor’s Office itself, or contacting their local health facility to have someone walk him/her through it.
Essential services workers (law enforcement, medical personnel, etc.) are encouraged to take the assessment, as they have the most exposure to potential virus carriers.
The State intends to send a “strike team” to Tama County Wednesday and Thursday to test long-term care facility employees and residents. Long-term care facilities account for 51 percent of Iowa’s 90 deaths attributed to the virus. The eleventh outbreak at such a facility in Iowa was announced Wednesday morning; St. Francis Manor in Poweshiek County. Tama County is receiving the strike force due to the number of new cases coming from there.
Reynolds reported that there are 107 new cases today with 6,248 tests available. Of those who have tested positive, 1,428 have recovered (38 percent); 272 are currently hospitalized (70 admitted in the last 24 hours), 92 of them are in intensive care and 57 are on ventilators. Iowa has 4,082 hospital beds still available.
The Governor will hold another press conference Thursday, April 23, at 11 a.m. The Marion County Tribune will keep you posted regarding state and locally developments related to the pandemic.