Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds provides an update on COVID-19 in Iowa on Friday, April 16, 2020, at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa.(Photo Credit: Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

DES MOINES, Iowa – On Friday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports 191 additional COVID-19 cases bringing the statewide total to 2,332 cases in 82 counties. She added and additional 926 negative tests were administered for a total of 19,460 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

She also reported that an additional four Iowans have died as a result of the disease bringing the number of COVID-19 related fatalities in the state to 64. IDPH identified those who passed away as one older adult (61-80) in Black Hawk County, one older adult in Scott County, one elderly adult (81+) in Tama County, and one older adult in Washington County.

Thirteen percent of reported cases and 45 percent of the deaths are related to long-term care facility outbreaks. Currently, there are nine outbreaks, and Reynolds did not announce any new outbreak on Friday.

1007 Iowans have recovered for a recovery rate of 43 percent among those tested. There are 183 hospitalized.

IDPH also reports that 19 Iowans were admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19. There are currently 88 patients in ICU and 52 patients on ventilators. Statewide there are 7,966 inpatient beds, 566 ICU beds, and 676 ventilators available.

Reynolds announced that the State Hygenic Lab currently has 10,588 tests available.

The state is working with processing plants and Tyson Foods in particular. Tyson Foods experienced an outbreak in their Columbus Junction plant and have a suspected outbreak at their plant in Waterloo.

Reynolds announced during her press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa that testing will conclude at Tyson Foods plant in Columbus Junction. She added that 2700 tests are being sent to their Waterloo plant. She said the State Hygienic Lab would run all completed tests over the weekend.

“I’ve had the opportunity to speak with the Tyson plant in Waterloo; I was able to do that last evening about the steps that they’re taking to protect the health of their employees, including temperature screenings, they are requiring masks to be on before they enter the facility. They are relaxing their attendance policy just to make sure that employees know that it is important that if they’re sick to stay home, and they’re providing regular communication,” she stated.

Reynolds said they were committed to remaining open and doing so by protecting their workforce.

Sarah Reisetter, the deputy director at IDPH, said the plants were not at a point the department felt they needed to order a closure.

Reynolds also noted that expanded testing capability would be a key to opening Iowa back up.

“By increasing the number of Iowans tested either through diagnostic testing to confirm positive COVID-19 cases or through serology testing to determine if a person has had the virus. We can then target specific communities and businesses that are in a position to open back up in a way that is measured and responsible,” she stated.

Listen to the full press conference:

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