Reynolds wants schools to close for four weeks

Gov Kim Reynolds Sunday evening recommended that Iowa schools close for four weeks.

”Based on new information today from the Iowa Department of Public Health, now is the time to move to the next level of response,” Gov Reynolds said. “I am now recommending that all Iowa schools close for a period of four weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

According to a press release, she makes the recommendation in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Earlier Sunday, IDPH was notified of four additional positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 22 positive cases. According to IDPH, two of the new cases are related to international travel. Those persons are a middle-age adult and a child in Allamakee County. The third is a middle-age adult in Johnson County with no identified travel-related risk or exposure to a known COVID-19 case, and is considered the second case of community spread in Iowa. The fourth is a middle-age adult in Polk County, and also community spread.

One of Sunday’s new cases was the first Iowa test conducted by a national lab. With testing options now expanding, IDPH expects the numbers of positive cases to increase.

The state of Iowa is developing policies to ensure continued access to child care during this time of emergency, including meals for low income students, according to the press release.

Also on Sunday evening, the Centers for Disease Control updated its mass gathering guidance to postpone for the next eight weeks any events with 50 or more people. The goal is to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. The CDC’s recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.

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