Reynolds launches new ad campaign to promote responsible COVID-19 behavior

Gov. Kim Reynolds didn’t implement any new virus mitigation measures Thursday morning, but instead encouraged Iowans to wear a mask and announced new CARES funding for Iowa hospitals.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 14.

Lauren White, Politics Reporter

On Thursday, Governor Kim Reynolds held her first press conference in nearly a month, where she said Iowans need to become more vigilant about stopping the spread of the coronavirus, as the pandemic spread reaches record highs across the state.

Next week, Reynolds said, she will be launching a public awareness campaign about the importance of recommended mitigation measures. She said she hopes that this campaign will remind Iowans that the virus is still in communities and to be responsible.

“We’re going to double down on that with an extensive media outreach, in local newspapers that they read, in radio stations that they listen to every day,” Reynolds said. “…just reminding them that it’s not over.”

Reynolds said that Iowa saw more than 41,000 new COVID-19 cases in October, however, she said that hospitals and labs have more resources and opportunities than they did eight months ago.

“Government solutions alone cannot stop this virus. It’s on every single one of us to do what we know we can to make a difference,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds did not announce any new mitigation measures to contain the virus, despite record-high hospitalization rates and rising positive case numbers. As of Thursday, 834 Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 1,801 people in the state have died from the disease.

Reynolds reminded Iowans to think about upcoming holiday gatherings and how they can celebrate together safely and responsibly. For the next three weeks, she said Iowans need to make every effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, $25 million was approved to be distributed to hospitals through CARES funding to help address staffing needs determined in September and October.

Dave Williams, chief clinical officer at UnityPoint, said that Iowans have to start listening to recommendations and reminded the audience that COVID-19 is still occurring on top of the normal illnesses usually seen in the hospital.

“You need to start taking care of my family. We have been spending eight months taking care of you, your family, and your friends. My plea to everyone watching today is take care of my family, your healthcare workers,” Williams said.

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