Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to the press during a daily COVID-19 press conference on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston. (Photo Credit: Kelsey Kremer/The Des Register)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Seventy Iowans were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours of data provided by the Regional Medical Coordination Centers (RMCC) operated by the Iowa National Guard. 

The latest report includes numbers recorded from 10:00 am on Monday, April 20, until 10:00 am on Tuesday, April 21. Gov. Kim Reynolds relayed those numbers during her press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa on Wednesday.

Southeast Iowa saw the most significant number of patients admitted with 38, northeast Iowa saw 28, northwest Iowa reported 12, and south-central Iowa reported 11. North-central Iowa and southwest Iowa saw one new patient a piece. 

There are currently 272 patients hospitalized statewide for COVID-19, the highest number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 the state has seen. There are presently 90 COVID-19 patients in ICU and 57 on ventilators. 

According to RMCC data, the state currently has 4,082 inpatient beds, 547 ICU beds, and 689 ventilators available. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds said that the state demonstrates daily the effectiveness of the mitigation efforts because of the responsiveness of Iowans.

“We are in really good shape when it comes to beds and ICU beds and ventilators, and that’s a reflection of Iowans listening and applying the mitigation efforts we put into place,” she said

“And hopefully that has flattened the curve it has reduced overwhelming our healthcare system. It’s bought us time so that we can continue to increase the PPE supply. We’re seeing more and more of that come online. And so every day we’re making significant advances, I believe, in addressing COVID-19,” Reynolds added.

Because of this, she said Iowa is at the point where they can talk about how to open the state back up.

“I know Iowans are ready for that; we’ll do it in a safe and responsible manner, but we are looking at how we can start that process,” Reynolds added.

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Wednesday reports 107 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 3748 cases statewide in 84 counties. The state reported 522 negative tests for a total of 24,496 tests. 

IDPH reports that seven COVID-19 patients died. To date, 90 Iowans have died as a result of this disease. Those who passed way include two older adults (61-80) from Black Hawk County, one middle-age adult (41-60) from Linn County, one middle-age and one older adult from Muscatine County, one middle-age adult from Tama County, and one older adult from Woodbury County. Currently, long-term care (LTC) facility residents make up 51 percent of those who died.

To date, 1428 Iowans have recovered for a recovery rate of 38 percent among those who have tested positive. 

Reynolds announced an additional LTC facility outbreak. St. Francis Manor in Poweshiek County reports 23 cases. This outbreak is the 11th in LTC facilities accounting for 384 cases, accounting for slightly more than ten percent of the cases statewide.

With additional testing, Iowa will likely start to see more reported cases. 

IDPH sent a team to Tama on Wednesday to provide diagnostic and serology testing for all long-term care (LTC) facility staff in the county to attempt to mitigate the outbreak there. The Premier Estates of Toledo experiencing an outbreak reports 50 cases. On Saturday, the state will launch its first Test Iowa Initiative drive-thru testing location at the north parking lot of the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Reynolds launched the Test Iowa Initiative on Tuesday, and she reported on Wednesday that almost 80,000 Iowans completed the assessment at TestIowa.com, and 250 scheduled an appointment. She said the #TestIowaChallenge promotion on Twitter received over 631 mentions with a reach of 18.8 million on its first day. 

“Iowans response to this has been incredible,” she said, noting that Iowans are engaged and excited.

“It’s really the first step to understanding more about the virus activity in Iowa, again, what we can do to mitigate and start to manage it so that we can open businesses back up. Get like back to normal, but do it in a very safe and responsible manner,” Reynolds added.

Listen to the full press conference:

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