Iowa reports 398 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, two-thirds connected to meat-packing facilities

In a press release on Sunday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds confirmed a large percentage of Sunday's daily cases can be attributed to surveillance testing at Tyson and National Beef companies.

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Rachel Schilke, News Reporter


Iowa recorded its highest daily total of positive COVID-19 cases on Sunday, two-thirds of which can be attributed to testing in meat packing plants in the state.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said on Sunday that it was notified of an additional 398 positive cases, the largest positive case total yet, bringing the state of Iowa’s total positive cases up to 2,902.

That jump includes surveillance testing of meat-packing plants in Iowa. Five hundred tests were completed each for Tyson Foods and National Beef employees, and IDPH confirmed 84 positive and 177 positive cases in each facility respectively.

On April 14, IDPH confirmed 86 new recorded cases that day were linked to a Tyson Foods facility in Louisa County, which shares a partial border to the south of Johnson County. That facility has been closed temporarily since April 6. Another Tyson Foods facility in Black Hawk County has also reported an outbreak.

At an April 14 press conference, University of Iowa Chief Medical Officer Theresa Brennan didn’t say whether Tyson Foods employees were being treated at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She did say, however that the hospital’s surge plan included

The department said that there was also an increase of 1,214 negative cases, overall amounting to 21,648 cases to date.

According to the press release, an additional one death was reported. The Iowa Department of Public Health said it was an adult between the ages of 61 and 80 from Muscatine County. In the state, 198 patients are currently hospitalized and 1,171 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

On April 17, there were a total of 2,332 positive cases and 64 deaths, and as of April 13, 1,790 positive cases, 16,986 negative cases, and 43 deaths.

Reynolds said in a press conference on April 13 that she expected the virus to peak later in the month, and that most of the recorded deaths were from long-term care facilities.

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