State reports largest number of positive tests Monday

State also conducted largest number of tests over the past 24 hours

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – The Iowa Public Health Department reported Monday the largest number of positive coronavirus tests since the outbreak hit Iowa several weeks ago, but the state also administered the most tests to date over the past 24 hours.

Despite the uptick in positives and testing, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is holding to her stance of not ordering a shelter in place.

During Monday’s press conference update from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Reynolds said she was sticking to a plan of watching data and making decisions based on that information. Reynolds also said she isn’t reconsidering her position on allowing local control of sheltering in place.

“No, we’re going to continue to do what I’m doing. I think its the best strategically to move forward in that manner,” Reynolds said.

“I can look at this based on community, county, or region and that’s how we should be making those decisions. We have some that are close and a couple different changes or variable could change that. We look at this every day and every night.”

She said the state now has 1,900 tests available. During Monday’s press conference, Reynolds said the state had 88 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 424 positive cases, or 6.4% of those being tested. There have been a total of 6,162 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs. 

According to IDPH, two Iowans with COVID-19 passed away last night, one elderly adult (81+) of Linn County, one elderly adult (81+) of Washington County, bringing the state total to 6 as of Monday afternoon.

Reynolds said the country and state are still facing a shortage of personal protective equipment that serves as a barrier for the state’s health care professionals.

“They are risking their own health to serve those that are sick. So we are working closely with health care services, hospitals, long-term care facilities and others to monitor PPE and get supplies where they are needed most,” she said.

The Iowa National Guard and other state agencies have been running supplies to all counties in the state, making more than 150 deliveries in the past week.

Reynolds also thanked the state’s industries, companies and private citizens who have stepped up to help make gowns, masks, shields and other PPE including hand sanitizer in lieu of their normal business schedules.

She continued the call to those groups to keep providing the equipment as the state won’t see the peak of the outbreak for at least two to three weeks.

With President Donald Trump extending the national social distancing order through the month of April, Reynolds said she is waiting for formal guidelines to come out Tuesday before looking at any state changes.

“I had already indicated that we would take another look at this at the end of the week,” she said.

Reynolds also said Abbott Labs has come up with a new testing machine and that can give a result in about five minutes. She said, per her national governor’s call Monday morning, the state should be getting at least 15 of those units.

She said the majority would be placed in hotspots around the state with a priority being to test health care workers.

“This is really good progress and we continue to look for additional testing opportunities,” she said.

When asked if the state was in as position to predict when peaks would occur, Reynolds said its a marathon, not a sprint.

“Every day we learn more – new ways to test – there’s work on vaccines, and other ways to spread this out,” she said.

“There’s new modeling to anticipate when the peaks will be seen, but we have spring breakers coming back which could extend that. In the fall we could potentially head back up again. So this is a marathon and if you keep asking people to do more and more and not basing it on data, pretty soon they aren’t going to take you serious.”

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 88 individuals include:

  • Audubon County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Benton County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years), 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Cedar County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Cerro Gordo County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Clinton County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Crawford County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Dallas County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Dubuque County, 3 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years),
  • Guthrie County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)
  • Iowa County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Jackson County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Jasper County, 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Johnson County,  2 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Jones County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Linn County, 9 adults (18-40 years), 8 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 6 older adults (61-80 years), 6 elderly adults (81+)
  • Monona County, 1 child (0-17 years), 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Muscatine County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Polk County, 2 children (0-17 years), 2 adults (18-40 years), 6 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Scott County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 2 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Shelby County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Tama County, 1 adult (18-40 years) 
  • Van Buren County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Washington County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 3 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)

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