Public health disaster extended one week

Gov Reynold’s March 17 declaration of a public health disaster, and its regulations, were set to expire Tuesday, March 31, at 11:59. Tuesday afternoon Reynolds extended it for another week, through April 6 at 11:59.

She made no mention of it during her 2:30 pm press conference. She briefly updated the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases and said an Iowan age 41-60 has died, bringing the total number of deaths to seven.

She hosted Brent Willett, president and CEO of the Iowa Health Care Association and Shannon Strickler, president and CEO of Leading Age Iowa. Both groups serve the long term care industry. They spoke of what is being done to assure the best possible health for their residents and their staff.

During the Q & A portion Reynolds was asked what planning is being done to prepare Iowa hospitals for a possible surge, which according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, will be mid- to late-April.

According to the governor, the 119 hospitals in Iowa have a total of 1,500 ventilators and anesthesia machines that could be used as ventilators. There is a total 12,000 beds and ??? intensive care beds.

Reynolds was also asked for a definition of “essential worker” in the event Iowa is put on a “shelter in place” order. She said she’ll use the definition provided by the Department of Homeland Security. She said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if 80 percent of Iowa’s workers met the definition.

IDPH reported Tuesday morning it has been notified of 73 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 497 positive cases. One death was reported in Muscatine County, a middle-aged (41-60) resident. There have been a total of 6,888 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 73 individuals include:
• Black Hawk County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
• Cedar County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
• Clay County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
• Clinton County, 2 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
• Dallas County, 4 adults (18-40 years)
• Harrison County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
• Iowa County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
• Jasper County, 1 elderly adult (81+)
• Johnson County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle-age (41-60 years)
• Jones County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle age (41-60 years)
• Keokuk County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
• Linn County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 7 middle age adults (41-60 years), 7 older adults (61-80 years), 2 elderly (81+)
• Marshall County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
• Muscatine County, 2 middle-age (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
• Polk County, 1 child (0-17), 5 adults (18-40 years), 3 middle age adults (41-60 years), 4 older adult (61-80 years), 2 elderly (81+)
• Pottawattamie County, 1 middle-age (41-60 years)
• Scott County, 2 middle-age (41-60 years)
• Sioux County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
• Tama County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
• Warren County, 2 middle-age (41-60 years)
• Washington County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years), 1 elderly (81+)

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