Governor says state’s hospital capacity is strong

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

JOHNSTON – Gov. Kim Reynolds unveiled data at Tuesday morning’s press conference that portrayed the state in “strong” shape as Iowa heads into what experts say will be the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The state is broken into six regions where metrics give a score to each region based on data used by the Governor and Iowa Department of Public Health to determine increased support to combat the coronavirus in those areas.

Lee County is located in Region 5 which is the southeast corner of the state and includes Cedar, Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lee, Keokuk, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott, Van Buren, Washington, and Wapello counties.

“Despite our increasing cases, our patient volume in these regions is manageable, our hospital capacity is strong, and our ventilators are in good supply,” she said. “This is encouraging, but we are in a very fluid situation which is why we continue to monitor data on a daily basis.”

In Region 5, as of Monday, 20 individuals were hospitalized, 3 in the last 24 hours and 7 were in ICUs, where 3 were on ventilators. Also as of Tuesday morning, there were 713 inpatient beds available in the region, 94 intensive care unit beds, and 181 ventilators available.

She also said the Region had a metric score of 9, which is the highest in the state.

Reynolds also had Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Benjamin Corell on hand Tuesday to talk about the efforts underway and the commitment of Iowa National Guard soldiers and airman to help the state’s six Regional Medical Coordination Centers respond to the virus outbreak.

Corell said the National Guard had already run supplies to all 99 counties in Iowa and some several times. He said response teams made up of 200 soldiers and airman were on duty and the guard was prepared to increase those numbers if necessary to help move supplies around the state.

Reynolds said patients can even be moved if necessary to areas where treatment can be received.

“RMCCs give us the ability to monitor resources and patient volume and will enable our health care facilities to surge and flex to accommodate increased needs across those regions,” she said.

She said 102 new positive cases were identified in the past 24 hours for a total of 1,048 positive cases. Three counties saw their first positive bringing the state’s total to 78 of 99 counties. The Iowa Hygienic Lab also reported 1,017 negative cases in the past 24 hours bringing to the total negative tests to 11,670. That means the state has reported 12,718 total tests with a 8.2% positive occurrence.

There was one additional death on Monday bringing the state’s total to 26. Reynolds said 46% of the deaths are long-term care residents.

Reynolds also said she has reached out to the FEMA director for additional tests and the Abbott Lab testing machine to get a better and quicker handle on who is getting sick and helping stand the workforce back up.

When asked about employees who don’t feel their workplace is essential but are being required to come into work, Reynolds referred those questions to state legal team at 1-800-332-0419 as a resource.

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 102 new positive individuals include:

  • Benton County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Black Hawk County, 3 adults (18-40 years)
  • Buena Vista County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Delaware County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Des Moines County, 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Dubuque County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle age (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Greene County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Hamilton County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Henry County, 1 child (0-17 years), 1 adult (18-40 years), 2 middle-age adults (41-60 years)
  • Johnson County, 10 adults (18-40 years), 4 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years), 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Linn County, 4 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Louisa County, 7 adults (18-40 years), 3 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Mahaska County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Marion County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Marshall County, 2 adults (18-40 years)
  • Muscatine County, 2 children (0-17 years), 3 adults (18-40 years), 3 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Polk County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Pottawattamie County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Scott County, 6 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Story County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Tama County, 3 older adults (61-80 years), 3 elderly (81+)
  • Warren County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Washington County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years), 1 elderly (81+)
  • Woodbury County, 1 adult (18-40 years)

A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa is provided by IDPH and can be found here. 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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