Gov. Reynolds announces virus outbreak at eastern Iowa care facility, asks for sewers to help make masks

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Gov. Kim Reynolds held a press conference Monday to give an update of COVID-19 in the state.

During the press conference, Reynolds recounted the new numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state, as well as the negative cases and tests available.

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced 88 new cases in the state earlier Monday for a total of 424 cases. The also announced the state’s total COVID-19 death is up to six, with one dying in Linn County and another in Washington County. They also said that there have been a total of 6,162 negative tests as of Monday. Health officials also said that 51 are currently hospitalized, 23 have discharged and recovering, and 203 are not hospitalized.

Reynolds then said that there has been an outbreak in a Cedar Rapids long-term care facility. An outbreak is determined when three or more residents tested positive. She then said that 21 of the cases in Linn County’s 71 cases are related to that outbreak. Public health officials are working to assist residents and monitor any changes. She also said that the requirement of screenings of the health care workers at the facility, which was included in a new proclamation Friday, would help to ensure the workers’ health and the protection of the elderly.

Reynolds also said that the end is not yet in sight for the pandemic, saying many are adjusting to a new normal.

Reynolds said one of the top challenges is fulfilling the need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), saying that without it, healthcare workers risk getting sick when they are needed most.

Working with health care facilities to monitor where PPE is needed most, saying that when supplies arrive to state, they distributed to counties and then to facilities. She then said that they can not fulfill 100% of the need, so they are taking an all hands-on approach. Private companies are starting the production of items for health care providers. With many making faceshields or masks, gowns and other PPEs.

In addition to what many are already doing, Reynolds is also asking for those who can sew, to make fabric facemasks. She said they could be used multiple times if washed correctly. She aid to call a local health facility to make donations. The Iowa Department of Public Health put out guidance of how to sew homemade masks.

The CDC said that most COVID-19 illnesses are mild, but about 16% of cases are serious. Older people or those with underlying health conditions are most at risk of developing a serious illness.

Symptoms for the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They occur 2-14 days after exposure. Anyone that develops the symptoms and has been in contact with some who has the virus or has recently traveled from where the virus is widespread is asked to see a doctor.

To help prevent the spread, people are asked to do the following:

  • Wash their hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Below are various health organizations with information on COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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