BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DES MOINES – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said Thursday that election results show Iowans approve of how she’s handled the state’s COVID crisis.
At a press conference held Thursday morning from Des Moines, Reynolds said virus activity is high, and Iowans need to hunker down for the next three weeks. But she said overall, Iowans said Tuesday that agree with her handling of the crisis.
“Iowans said, through this election, they agreed with how we’ve handled COVID-19,” Reynolds said. “It was a critically important election that reflects Iowans somewhat agreed how we handled not only COVID 19, but the conservative fiscal approach we’ve taken.”
She said nine months ago experts didn’t know as much about the virus and the state took large mitigation efforts to curb the spread.
But now there’s more information, more testing, and more enhanced treatments for the disease and those decisions aren’t required now despite the surging numbers of infections and hospitalizations in the state.
The state reported 41,000 new coronavirus cases in October with a positivity rating of 14.3%. Hospitalizations went from 393 on Oct. 1 to 676 on Oct. 31.
She asked Iowans to “double down” on efforts over the next three weeks to help curb the rise in infections going into the holiday weekend.
“It’s up to every single one of us to do the simple things that each of us can do in our daily lives that will make a difference,” Reynolds said.
“Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, stay home when sick, get tested, follow your quarantine if you have the virus, and I’ll add get a flu shot,” she said.
“As weather changes and more activities move in doors carefully consider whether certain events are worth the risk. Consider holiday gatherings and make a plan to celebrate together safely and responsibly.”
On Tuesday, Reynolds allocated $25 million to state hospitals and health departments to help with daily operations going into the holidays. The funds will be distributed based on each facilities average daily census for September and October.
She said the state will begin a public awareness campaign at newspapers, radio stations and television statements across the state.
Additional measures have been taken to make sure that some of the testing sites in the state are moved indoors to allow testing to continue through the winter months.
She said the election validated the direction of the state and now Iowans need to come together. Iowans voted heavily Republican on Tuesday expanding the majority in the house and maintaining the the majority in the Senate.
“It’s time to come together as Iowans and Americans and do the best for our state and country,” Reynolds said.
“People are tired of living differently with COVID, but in the big picture these are small sacrifices and we need to manage the virus while living life.”