Additional COVID-19 Cases in Iowa, School guidance, Reynolds to hold Press Conference tomorrow from SEOC

DES MOINES - Testing at Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory has indicated two additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa residents, a total of 16 positive cases. An additional 16 tests were negative.  

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) both cases are tied to the same Egyptian cruise as other positive cases. Both are older adults (61 - 80 years), one is from Johnson County and one is from Carroll County. Both are recovering at home in isolation. 

IDPH also put out guidance to PK-12 school administrators on COVID19 policies, linked here.

β€œThe health and safety of our students, teachers, and faculty is a top priority,” said Gov. Reynolds. β€œAt this time, the Iowa Department of Public Health is not advising any school closures. We are finalizing key decision points needed to mitigate COVID19 to provide school districts with thorough guidance. This situation remains very fluid, and we will continue to equip local school districts with the information they need. If any school districts have questions or concerns, please reach out to IDPH.” 

Gov. Reynolds will hold a press conference tomorrow from the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston.  

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Gov. Reynolds to hold Press Conference

State Emergency Operations Center 

Johnston, IA

1:30 p.m.

That press conference is open to credentialed members of the media and can be live on Facebook here.

A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa provided by IDPH 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.

Iowans can help prevent the spread of illness by following simple daily precautions including washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill. It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and IDPH recommends getting the flu vaccine. Influenza activity is widespread  in Iowa and as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 was first linked to an outbreak in Wuhan, China, but cases have subsequently been identified in several countries, including the U.S. These are the first cases identified in Iowa. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those most at risk of the virus are older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions.