64 additional COVID-19 cases in Iowa, largest single day spike as testing ramps up

According to a press release from the Office of the Governor, an additional 64 Iowans have tested positive for COVID-19.

Naomi Hofferber, Senior Reporter

Sixty-four additional Iowans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from the Office of the Governor Saturday, Iowa’s biggest single day positive case spike since the initial outbreak. 

This is a jump from the 56 positive cases announced Friday, bringing the total of positive cases to 298, with the majority in Johnson, Polk, and Linn counties, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

There are currently 46 Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19, 15 are discharged and recovering, and three have died. There have been 4375 negative tests. 

Testing is expanding in the state, as University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announced March 20 that they would join the University of Iowa-based State Hygienic Lab in offering COVID-19 tests. UI Vice President of Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson said Wednesday the hospital was looking at “tripling or quadrupling” testing by the following week.

According to the State Hygienic Lab website, those who will be prioritized for testing include

  • Hospitalized patients with fever and respiratory illness
  • Adults over the age of 60 with fever, respiratory symptoms, and chronic medical conditions
  • People with fever or respiratory illness who live in a congregate setting such as a long-term care facility or dormitories,
  • Health care workers and essential services personnel.

However, Jackson said the hospital makes exceptions, and according to the lab website “these criteria may broaden as the pandemic expands and additional testing resources become available.”

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Governor Reynolds announced she was not calling for a shelter in place at this time.