DES MOINES, Iowa – On Thursday, Gov. Kim Reynolds reported that there are 44 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state in 13 counties. She said that forty of the positive test results came from the State Hygienic Lab, and four results came from the national lab. The state processed 642 negative test results, and they are running three shifts per day to increase their capacity to run tests.
Of the six new positive cases announced on Thursday, three reside within Polk County. They also report that Muscatine, Dubuque, and Johnson counties have one new positive case each.
Reynolds addressed her proclamation on Tuesday declaring a public health disaster emergency in the state that closed restaurants’ dining areas, bars, fitness centers, and recreational facilities across the state, as well as prohibits events and gatherings of more than ten people.
“All of the necessary actions we’ve taken at the state level have come with consequences for Iowans, making them some of the toughest decisions that I’ve made as your governor. To Iowa small business owners. I hear you, you are the backbone of our economy, and we stand ready to provide you the support you need to keep our state open for business. Unemployment benefits are available for people whose jobs are impacted by COVID-19. And for their employers, we are waiving unemployment charges so that their taxes are not affected. We’re extending filing deadlines for several state tax types, including individual income taxes to July 31st, and working with our federal partners on additional small business relief,” she said.
“You have my commitment that we will continue to do our part to keep business in Iowa moving forward. The more that we do now to stop the spread, the sooner we’ll get through this, and the sooner we’ll get our lives back to normal, but it is going to take every Iowan to be part of the solution,” Reynolds added.
“We’ve already seen it happening all across our state. Schools and communities are making sure kids, families, and seniors have food. Churches are finding ways to worship through technology on Sunday. Restaurants are innovating to develop new ways for delivery carry out and subscription service to ensure their workers still have a job to come to each day. Grocery stores are opening an hour early just for seniors to come in and shop. Schools at all levels are expanding their distant learning opportunities for students. From food banks to ordering takeout from the local restaurant for dinner to a business owner putting her workers first, we’re seeing the best of Iowa stepping up,” she said.
Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state epidemiologist, discussing the amount of testing being done, explained most people would not be tested for COVID-19.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind that not everybody does need to be tested. And in fact, many of us probably will never need to be tested. That’s in part because most of us about 85 percent would experience only a very mild kind of illness similar to a cold or flu type illness. And so for most of us, what we need to do is stay home, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, stay away from others, cover our cough and wash our hands. There’s not a specific medicine or vaccine for COVID-19 at this time. So for the majority of people who are going to have mild illness, what’s more important is that you actually stay home and recover and take care of yourself,” she said.
Pedati said those who are ill should stay home for at least seven days from the first day the symptoms start, and the Iowa Department of Public Health recommends Iowans who are sick to stay home an additional three days when their symptoms have improved and are without a fever.
“Now there are some subsets of the population who are going to be more severely affected. And we’ve seen that be our older populations and populations with underlying conditions. And so when we think about doing a test in medicine for any reason for anybody, we want to make sure that we’re doing a test because we’re going to take some kind of action or do something different with that information. That’s true, regardless of whether we’re talking about COVID-19, or anything else,” she added.
They also warned Iowans that the more tests that the state processes, the more positive cases the state will see.
Listen to the press conference below: