Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a press conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Photo Credit: Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register)
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DES MOINES, Iowa – On Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said that while she sees some encouraging signs, they are not yet enough to lift mitigation efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The governor held her daily press briefing on the coronavirus and the state’s response at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston.

Reynolds announced that the state saw an additional 123 positive COVID-19 cases totaling 1710 cases statewide in 82 counties with Cass County reporting its first case. She said a further 981 negative tests were processed for a total of 16,986 negative tests conducted and a total of 18,696 tests completed statewide.

Currently, there are 142 Iowans hospitalized, and 741 have recovered. The state’s recovery rate is 43 percent. Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), said that IDPH considers someone when they are at least seven days out from the onset of their symptoms and then being symptom-free, including fever-free, for 72 hours.

Reynolds also announced two additional deaths: one elderly adult (81+) in Linn County, and one older adult (61-80) in Muscatine County. Forty-three Iowans have died as a result of COVID-19.

Referring to the recovery rate and what the state’s epi curve says about the onset of COVID-19 in the state, Reynolds said she is encouraged.

“The signs are encouraging, but they are not reason enough for us to let up on our mitigation efforts at this time. As we’ve been saying, we project that Iowa’s peak will occur later this month, and until then, we anticipate our positive or number of positive cases, and unfortunately, our deaths will continue to rise as well,” she said.

Reynolds said long-term care facilities continue to be a primary concern as staff and residents account for ten percent of all positive cases and 53 percent of the deaths in the state.

The governor later added that the state would make it through the shutdown.

“We will get through this. We will recover. I want to open up this state, as soon as we can, but I want to do it in a responsible manner. We don’t want to open it up just to have to shut things back down again,” Reynolds said.

She said that decision based on the available data and her administration is currently working to determine the metrics they will consider favorable before deciding they are ready to lift mitigation restrictions to open the state back up for business. An economic task force will meet this week to discuss what a phased re-opening would look like in the state.

Reynolds provided an update on hospitalizations and resources available in each region of the state.

Region 1 (south-central Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has 38 patients hospitalized with five patients admitted in the previous 24 hours. Fourteen patients are in ICU, and 11 are on a ventilator. The region has 1365 inpatient beds, 139 ICU beds, and 224 ventilators available.

Region 2 (north-central Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has one patient hospitalized with no additional patients admitted in the previous 24 hours. That one patient is in ICU and on a ventilator. The region has 235 inpatient beds, 6 ICU beds, and 25 ventilators available.

Region 3 (northwest Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has two patients hospitalized with one additional patient admitted in the previous 24 hours. One patient is in ICU, and none are on a ventilator. The region has 540 inpatient beds, 44 ICU beds, and 59 ventilators available.

Region 4 (southwest Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has two patients hospitalized with one additional patient admitted in the previous 24 hours. One patient is in ICU, and none are on a ventilator. The region has 254 inpatient beds, 37 ICU beds, and 68 ventilators available.

Region 5 (southeast Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has 55 patients hospitalized with 12 patients admitted in the previous 24 hours. Twenty-four patients are in ICU, and 15 are on a ventilator. The region has 727 inpatient beds, 85 ICU beds, and 166 ventilators available.

Region 6 (northeast Iowa), as of April 12, 2020, has 44 patients hospitalized with five patients admitted in the previous 24 hours. Twenty-nine patients are in ICU, and 14 are on a ventilator. The region has 1,255 inpatient beds, 69 ICU beds, and 133 ventilators available.

Listen to the full press conference.

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