DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Thursday announced that more than a dozen more long term care facilities in the state are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and millions of dollars has been approved to help those facilities deal with the spread of the virus.
At her biweekly news conference updating the pandemic response in Iowa, Reynolds announced 20 new long term care center outbreaks would be reported later Thursday in addition to the 94 outbreaks the state was reporting online this morning. 2,800 “individuals” are listed as “affected” by the outbreaks on the state’s coronavirus tracking website. Reynolds says that website will be updated on Thursday with a new feature tracking coronavirus cases in long term care facilities by date.
Reynolds says she has approved $14 million dollars of CARES Act money to be distributed to long term care facilities in Iowa to cover the costs of testing, staffing or whatever needs they have related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Reynolds also debuted a new public service announcement that will air across the state. The ad features Reynolds, former Governor Tom Vilsack, Dan Gable, Carson King and others encouraging Iowans to “step up” to stop COVID-19. The PSA encourages Iowans to socially distance, wash their hands and wear masks. None of the Iowans who speak in the PSA are wearing masks, but a nurse does wear a face shield. Governor Reynolds says the choice was made to not have participants wear masks so they would be recognizable. On Tuesday Governor Reynolds questioned whether or not there is a scientific consensus on masks actually slowing the spread of the virus. She encourages Iowans to wear masks none the less.