Gov. Kim Reynolds reveals 38 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa

In Sunday’s press conference, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke on the new positive cases in the state. She was joined by Senator Joni Ernst to discuss federal packages and the private sector’s help acquiring professional protective equipment.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds gives the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Riley Davis, News Reporter

Three weeks after the first positive case of COVID-19 was discovered in the state, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Sunday there are now 38 additional cases — bringing the state’s total up to 336 positive cases with four confirmed deaths. 

Reynolds said that over 5,300 tests have been conducted in the state, and 5,013 of that total have tested negative. The state currently has a six percent positive test rate in comparison to other states, which are “running” eight to nine percent, she said. Hospitalizations are also around 15 percent with 51 patients total. 

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“[Due to] the incubation period of the virus … we’ve been expecting an increase of positive cases during this time,” Reynolds said. “We expect that it will continue as Iowans who have recently traveled for spring break and may have been exposed to the virus are still in that [14 day] incubation period.”

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa,  joined the press conference through a video call from her home in Red Oak, Iowa. 

Ernst spoke about the three “federal packages” to provide COVID-19 relief, which she referred to as phase one, phase two, and phase three. She said that a fourth package is anticipated but doesn’t yet know what it will encompass or if it will be needed moving forward, as it’s dependent on the pandemic’s course. 

“[We need to] make sure we are developing plans for future possibilities of other pandemics — this is the first one we’ve gone through in recent history — and just making sure that we’re thoroughly evaluating in phase one, phase two, and phase three, and then how can we better prepare the nation if, God forbid, this should happen again.”

During the press conference, Reynolds thanked the people and businesses who were making a difference through acts of kindness or by offering solutions to virus-caused problems, such as the lack of professional protective equipment. 

RELATED: Gov. Kim Reynolds announces three presumptive positive coronavirus cases in Iowa

She said that Monday’s press conference will focus on the private sector’s work to help address professional protective equipment concerns. 

“We know that the decisions that we’re making now freeze up … professional protective equipment,” Reynolds said. “So, that’s why the last round was suspending non-essential and elective surgeries, because that’s an access to some of the [protective equipment] that we need. That’s why we have businesses that are standing up and providing some of the supplies that we need. It’s also why we’re reaching out to the private sector to see if they can retrofit their company to make the face shields. We’re trying to be as proactive as we can.”