Gov. Reynolds says Iowa has 620 COVID-19 tests available, suspends property taxes

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

JOHNSTON, Iowa (KCAU) – Following an additional positive COVID-19 case in Iowa, Governor Reynolds is holding a press conference to update Iowans on COVID-19.

Watch a replay of the press conference from the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) below. If you are having trouble viewing the player click here.

Governor Reynolds said during the conference she is not considering a shelter in place order for Iowa. She said the decision is influenced by data from the Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Reynolds said Iowa is currently equipped with enough kits to test 620 Iowans for COVID-19. She also said the Iowa Department of Corrections will be producing hand sanitizer with alcohol provided by ethanol plants.

Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development Head, said the IWD has eased unemployment requirements to accommodate Iowans who find themselves without a job due to COVID-19. You can apply for unemployment here.

Townsend said the number of unemployment fillings on a daily basis is nearly equal to the numbers the IWD sees in a busy month. The exact number of claims the IWD has received will be released next week.

Regarding COVID-19 testing, Townsend said private labs will begin reporting the number of negative tests they perform Monday.

Sarah Reisetter, IDPH Deputy Director, said testing kits in Iowa are limited, and it is important to give those tests first to hospitalized patients and essential workers like doctors, nurses and first responders.

PREVIOUSLY – Governor Kim Reynolds issued an additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration Friday effective immediately.

The Governor’s office said the declaration will provide additional relief to Iowan’s impacted by the public health disaster.

The declaration aims to relax several restrictions and regulations along with providing relief from other statues and state regulations.

Details on what the declaration will suspend, extend and permit are listed below.

  • Temporarily suspends:
    • Collection of property taxes and penalties and interest.
    • Some evictions under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or the Manufactured Home Communities or Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in certain circumstances.
  • Suspends:
    • Certain regulations to ease the transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities, food, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods on all highways in Iowa.
  • Extends:
    • Expiration deadline for a permit to carry and a permit to acquire a firearm and additional measures.
  • Permits:
    • The sale of carry-out, delivery, drive-thru of alcohol for unopened bottles of alcohol for bars and restaurants and suspends some fees.
    • Public meetings or hearings by electronic means to improve the functions of government while maintaining social distancing practices.
  • Allows:
    • Related state agencies to implement the state’s public health emergency plan.

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

A public health hotline for Iowans with questions about COVID-19 is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1- or 1-800-244-7431


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