New COVID-19 high in Iowa, but governor won’t close plants: ‘We really need to focus on the individuals who are vulnerable’

Local News

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced 482 new positive COVID-19 cases at her daily news conference on Tuesday.

That’s a new daily high and brings the total to 3,641, almost double the 1,899 reported a week ago.

“33 percent of today’s positive cases are related to the surveillance testing that has been done at the meat processing facilities,” Reynolds announced.

When asked specifically why it’s “worth the risk” to keep a Tyson plant in Waterloo open, Reynolds suggested that those that work there aren’t vulnerable enough.

“50-70 percent of the United States population is projected to get this, so… people are gonna get it,” Reynolds said. “It is very contagious, especially in large gatherings. And 80 percent of the individuals that get it are only gonna experience mild or no symptoms, so we shouldn’t lose sight of that as well. So we really need to focus on the individuals who are vulnerable who have underlying conditions and do everything we can to mitigate their exposure.”

Perhaps that’s a reference to those in long-term care facilities, since Reynolds reported that they represent 51 percent of all Iowa COVID-19 deaths, including the four in the last 24 hours that brought the state’s total to 83.

There are 214 hospitalized patients, up from 163 a week ago and 1,293 recovered, up from 790 last Tuesday. There are 89 patients in ICU and 60 on ventilators.

The virus spread to two more counties, leaving only 15 of the 99 officially untouched.

In addition, there were 1,313 negative test results, bringing that total to 23,974. The governor said 7,273 tests are available.

Reynolds also announced the launch of the “Test Iowa” program and website, which she said will increase the state’s testing capacity by 3,000 a day. The first mass testing site opens Saturday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The rest are TBA.

“I’m the second state in the country to be able to do it,” Reynolds said, adding that Utah was the first. “So we’re excited about that.”

You can find the details of the program at testiowa.com.

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