Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds held a press conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (Photo Credit: Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register)
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DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds, during her press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, announced seven additional COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care (LTC) facilities. 

They are: 

  • Granger Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Dallas County has 22 cases.
  • Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing in Dallas County reports 12 cases.
  • Dubuque Specialty Care in Dubuque County has four cases.
  • Fleur Heights Center for Wellness and Rehab in Polk County reports five cases.
  • University Park Nursing and Rehabilitation in Polk County has four cases.
  • Accura Healthcare of Newton – West in Jasper County has 21 cases.
  • Iowa Veterans Home in Marshall County has 20 cases.

There are 23 outbreaks in LTC facilities in the state representing over ten percent of the cases in Iowa and a majority of the deaths related to COVID-19 statewide. The outbreaks happened in counties that still fall under the highest mitigation restrictions.

“From the start, we’ve taken significant and proactive mitigation measures to protect long term care facilities and our most vulnerable Iowans who live there because we know that COVID-19 spreads quickly in congregate settings,” Reynolds said.

She said that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) deployed strike teams to conduct surveillance testing of LTC facility employees in areas where the virus activity is high. 

“As we began to reopen Iowa safely and responsibly, testing, case management, and tracing remain critical components to understanding and managing virus activity,” Reynolds added.

Outbreaks are also present in meat processing plants. Black Hawk County public health officials attribute 90 percent of their cases to the outbreak at the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo. 

Reynolds announced a second Test Iowa site at the Crossroads Mall in Waterloo would open on Wednesday. 

Also, a meatpacking plant in Nebraska is blamed in part for a massive increase in cases in Woodbury County. 

White House official shared that President Donald Trump would order all meat processing plants to remain open under the Defense Production Act.

IDPH reports 508 new cases of COVID-19 increasing the statewide total to 6,376 cases. Reynolds stated that 98 percent of the cases came from the 22 counties still under higher restrictions. 

Also, IDPH reports 1165 new negative cases for a total of 33,447 negative cases conducted in the state. In total, 1673 tests were conducted for a total of 39,823 Iowans tested, representing one in 79 Iowans tested for COVID-19. Reynolds announced that the state hygienic lab has a testing capacity of 5226.

An additional nine Iowans have died, for a total of 136 deaths in the state since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

IDPH said the deaths were in the following counties:

  • Black Hawk County, one elderly adult (81+) 
  • Linn County, two older adults (61-80 years) 
  • Muscatine County, one elderly adult 
  • Polk County, three elderly adults, one older adult  
  • Story County, one elderly adult

Reynolds confirmed that seven of Tuesday’s reported deaths were residents in long-term care facilities. 

IDPH reports 2,164 Iowans have recovered from COVID-19 for a recovery rate of 34 percent among those who tested positive. 

The Regional Medical Coordination Centers report that 304 Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 22 new admissions, 98 in ICU, and 64 on ventilators. They also report there are 4,034 inpatient beds, 554 ICU beds, and 698 ventilators available statewide. 

Listen to the full press conference:

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