Since the beginning of the COVID-19 fight and daily news conferences, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has insisted that “the metrics” would dictate when a stay-at-home order was needed or the state would need to escalate its efforts.
As recently as Friday, Reynolds said that if the time comes to shelter in place, she will call for it, “but it will be based on data.”
But on Thursday, with one region sitting at 9 and two at 8, Reynolds suggested for the first time that “there are other factors” that weigh in.
“I think sometimes everyone is getting so hung up on metrics,” said Reynolds, before listing off the things Iowans need to be doing: “Stay home, practice social distancing, leave only for essentials…”
It’s a mantra she repeated three times when asked specific questions about the metrics, finishing twice with a hope that if those steps are followed, the discussion can shift to what can open instead of what might get closed.
Left unanswered were:
- “In the past you said the metrics were the guideposts. What are some of the other factors that weigh in now aside from the metrics?”
- “What happens when a region hits 10 on your point scale?”
- “Are there any automatic things that happen when that threshold is reached?”
Those last two questions should be of particular interest to Iowa Quad Citizens.
The RMCC region that Davenport, Bettendorf and surrounding communities and counties are included in is considered a 9 on that point scale. Of the other five regions, two are at 8, two are at 6 and one is at 7. In the past, Reynolds said that a 10 would trigger a stay-at-home order for that region. But even the science behind that magic number, as the Des Moines Register put it Monday, “remains a mystery.”
But Reynolds has been the biggest champion of their point scale all along as she went against the grain of almost every other state that has some sort of shelter-in-place order… in place. By citing “other factors,” she walked that back Thursday.
Reynolds showed the RMCC Region 5 map again during the news conference.
It showed 11 patients on ventilators (with 167 available) and 14 in ICU beds (with 93 available).
Reynolds acknowledged that Iowa is not yet at its peak of the pandemic as she announced the state numbers: 125 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 1,270.
There were also two additional deaths in Linn County. That brings Iowa’s total to 29.
Reynolds also reported 882 negative tests in the past day. That total is now at 13,703. She added that 2,530 tests are available, 115 patients are hospitalized and 476 have recovered (38 percent of cases).
The virus remains in 79 of the 99 Iowa counties.