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Governor Kim Reynolds expands business closures, ramps up social-distancing as COVID-19 cases increase
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Governor Kim Reynolds expands business closures, ramps up social-distancing as COVID-19 cases increase

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JOHNSTON – Gov. Kim Reynolds today expanded the number of business closures and hinted at stepped-up enforcement of social-distancing and other mitigation guidelines in an effort to close the spread of the coronavirus that claimed another three lives – moving the statewide death toll to 25.

The latest information from the Iowa Department of Public Health indicate elderly residents one elderly resident of Linn County aged 61 to 80 years and two elderly residents of Tama County over the age of 80 died as a result of COVID-19.

Reynolds told a news conference that an additional 78 Iowans have tested positive for coronavirus while 680 posted negative tests – bringing the new totals to 946 positive tests and 10,653 negative tests.

A total of 99 Iowans were hospitalized with coronavirus-related symptoms or illnesses, according to the latest Health Department release.

"The last week has been especially hard. We had been anticipating that our numbers of COVID-19 cases would climb and last week we saw that happen. We had an additional 444 cases and unfortunately we had an additional 16 deaths," the governor said.

"Unfortunately, we expect this week will be equally if not more difficult," she added. 

IDPH officials have been notified of 78 additional positive cases for a total of 946 positive cases. There have been an additional 680 negative tests for a total of 10,653 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs. The lab has 1,850 testing kits available.

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Reynolds today said she previously had taken “targeted, systematic” action to close a wide array of businesses but she now has expanded the list to include shopping malls, libraries, social and fraternal clubs, bingo and bowling alleys, arcades, pool halls, amusement parks, skating rinks and parks, outdoor and indoor playgrounds or children’s play centers, tobacco and vaping shops, racetracks, music, toy, gaming, instrument and movie stores and campgrounds.

The governor urged Iowans to "stay home" and observe social-distancing and other mitigation directives, while Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Bayens indicated local and state law officers will use a three-step approach to enforcing those directives with Iowans failing to comply with warnings facing a simple misdemeanor charge.

"It’s only a small segment that is throwing caution to the wind," he said

Reynolds noted that IDPH officials are closely monitoring metrics but no area of the state has risen to the level where she would feel the need to impose a shelter at home order, but that could be subject to change as Iowa moves closer to an expected peak sometime later this month.

"Every Iowan has a responsibility to keep our families, friends and communities safe, especially our most vulnerable and our health-care workers who are serving on the front lines of this crisis," the governor said. "They don’t have the luxury of staying home. These heroes among us are putting their fears aside and showing up to take care of us and we need to do our part by taking care of them."

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 78 individuals include:

  • Allamakee County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Benton County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Cedar County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Cerro Gordo County, 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Chickasaw County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Clinton County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Crawford County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Dubuque County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Franklin County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Henry County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Jackson County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Johnson County, 5 adults (18-40 years), 6 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Linn County, 5 adults (18-40 years), 6 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years), 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Louisa County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Marion County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Marshall County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Muscatine County, 5 adults (18-40 years), 2 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Page County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Polk County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Pottawattamie County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Scott County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 7 middle age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80), 1 elderly adult (81+)  
  • Tama County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80), 3 elderly adults (81+) 
  • Wapello County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Warren County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Washington County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80)  
  • Winnebago County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years) 

In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431. The state of Iowa has started sharing the number of negative tests conducted at outside labs, and is providing additional information on the conditions of those infected with COVID-19. 

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Reach Reporter Jared McNett at 641-421-0527. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @TwoHeadedBoy98. 

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