DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported the largest number of new COVID-19 cases in one day. In the previous 24 hours (10:00 am on Sunday to 10:00 am on Monday), 482 Iowans tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the state total to 3,641 cases in 84 counties.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, in her press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, said Cherokee and Humboldt counties reported their first cases. She also noted 33 percent of the positive results were due to surveillance testing at meat processing plants.
Several counties reported cases beyond single digits with Black Hawk County, where Tyson Foods has a plant, reporting the most cases with 107. Johnson County followed them with 69 cases. Linn and Marshall counties saw 51 each, Woodbury County reported 37 cases, Polk County recorded 28, Louisa County had 27 cases, and Tama County had 26.
Black Hawk County two weeks ago had 12 cases, and now they have a total of 366 mostly linked to the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo. Reynolds said plans to keep the plant open.
“We want to make sure that we’re protecting the health and well being of all Iowans and I want people to know that probably, you know, 50 to 70% of the United States population is projected to get this so people are going to get it it is very contagious, especially in large, large gatherings,” she said.
Reynolds added that Iowans shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that 80 percent of those who are exposed to COVID-19 have mild symptoms or no symptoms.
“So we really need to focus on the individuals who are vulnerable, who have underlying conditions and do everything we can to mitigate their exposure,” she said.
Pointing to the testing initiative she launched on Tuesday and contact tracing, Reynolds noted that they will learn more about the virus and its impact on the state.
“(We can) see the scope of who has been involved and most importantly, make sure that we’re taking all precautions necessary to protect the health and well being of our workforce, but also to get them through the incubation period and then back to work,” she added.
IDPH reported 1313 negative tests for a total of 23,974 negative tests given conducted. There have been 27,615 Iowans tested, and Reynolds remarked that the state per capita testing rate is one test for every 113 Iowans.
Iowa currently has a recovery rate of 35 percent of those tested with 1293 Iowans recovered from COVID-19.
IDPH reported four deaths. One elderly adult (+81) in Linn County passed away. Polk County reported the deaths of one older adult (61-80) and two elderly adults. All deaths were connected to a long-term care (LTC) facility outbreak. To date, 83 Iowans have died from COVID-19, with 51 percent of those deaths linked to LTC outbreaks. The LTC outbreaks make-up ten percent of all COVID-19 cases.
The Regional Medical Coordination Centers (RMCCs) operated by the Iowa National Guard reports that currently, there are 214 Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 with 89 in ICU and 60 on a ventilator. In the previous 24 hours, 23 Iowans were hospitalized.
The RMCCs report that 4200 inpatient beds, 553 ICU beds, and 696 ventilators are available statewide.