CORONAVIRUS

Reynolds: Shelter at home issue needlessly dividing Iowans

85 more coronavirus cases in Iowa, but no new deaths reported

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Corona
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)
/

JOHNSTON — Gov. Kim Reynolds expressed concern Friday that the shelter-at-home issue is dividing Iowans at a time they need to be united in following directives she said often are more comprehensive in slowing the spread of coronavirus than the shelter orders in most states.

Reynolds used her news briefing at the state emergency operations center to address the issue after a top White House adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, threw his support behind a national shelter-at-home declaration — meant to keep people at home except for essential activities — and the Iowa Board of Medicine also called on her to take the action as a way to protect Iowa’s health care workers.

The governor expressed frustration that people look at a map showing at least 40 states operating under shelter-at-home orders with Iowa as an outlier — but seldom looking deeper to see that Iowa acted early to close businesses, restrict gatherings to 10, recommend people work from home and stay inside when sick or isolate if exposed to the virus; and promoted other precautionary measures. School districts closed voluntarily at first, but then remain closed under her order.

The pandemic has resulted in 11 deaths and at least 699 positive cases in Iowa. The virus now has been found in 65 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“If you get a side-by-side comparison with what we’re doing in Iowa and what other states are doing they are much the same,” Reynolds said.

“Iowans of all walks of life are either strongly in favor or strongly opposed of sheltering in place and this has become a divisive issue at a time when we must be united in our response to this crisis,” she said. “I want Iowans to understand that we have taken significant and incremental steps to mitigate the spread of the virus since we identified our first case on March 8. We were ahead of many states in our response efforts and we continue to dial up our mitigation efforts based on data that is designed by the experts in the Iowa Department of Public Health.”

Reynolds said there is a mental health “down side” of suicides and domestic abuse that goes with a restrictive shelter-at-home order.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“What matters is the substance of the order, not it’s name,” the governor noted. “Shelter doesn’t mean any state’s orders are different from or stronger than what we are doing in Iowa.”

Asked directly about Fauci’ position, Reynolds noted there are health experts with competing perspectives, adding that “maybe he doesn’t have all of the information. You can’t just look at a map and assume that no action has been taken. That is completely false. There is still some disconnect on what we’ve done and what the expectations are and actually what’s taking place in other states across this country.”

Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state epidemiologist and Iowa Department of Public Health medical director, said it seemed like “we’re all really saying the same thing” in wanting to keep Iowans safe as the state may be approaching a COVID-19 peak later this month.

On Friday, health officials said they had been notified of 85 more positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 699 positive cases. The 85 positive results were the second-highest single-day tally for Iowa, trailing the 88 positive cases reported March 30

The good news in Friday’s report was that there were not any additional deaths.

Reynolds said 726 Iowans had negative test results, bringing that total of 8,764.

A total of 80 Iowans were hospitalized with virus-related symptoms or illnesses while another 85 had recovered.

Linn County continued Friday to lead all Iowa counties with 118 cases, followed by Polk County with 100 and Johnson County with 83.

A total of 374 women and 325 men have tested positive, with the 41-60 age range the highest with 256 cases.

According to health officials, the locations and age ranges of the 85 individuals include:

• Allamakee County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Clayton County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Clinton County, four middle age adults (41-60 years), one older adult (61-80 years);

• Crawford County, one middle age adult (41-60), two older adults (61-80 years);

• Dallas County, two older adults (61-80 years);

• Dubuque County, one older adult (61-80 years);

• Fayette County, one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Henry County, one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Jackson County, one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Jasper County, one older adult (61-80 years);

• Jefferson County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Johnson County, one adult (18-40 years), two middle-age adults (41-60 years);

• Linn County, one adult (18-40 years), two middle-age adults (41-60 years), five older adults (61-80 years), six elderly adults (81+);

• Louisa County, one older adult (61-80 years);

* Lyon County, one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Marshall County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Monona County, one elderly (81+);

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

• Muscatine County, one adult (18-40 years), one middle-age adult (41-60 years), one older adult (61-80 years);

• O’Brien County, one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Plymouth County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Polk County, six adults (18-40 years), six middle-age adults (41-60 years), one older adult (61-80 years);

• Pottawattamie County, one older adult (61-80 years);

• Scott County, four middle-age adults (41-60 years), two older adults (61-80 years);

• Shelby County, one older adult (61-80 years), one elderly adult (81+);

• Sioux County, one older adult (61-80 years);

• Story County, one adult (18-40 years);

• Tama County, three adults (18-40 years), one middle-age adult (41-60 years), one older adult (61-80 years);

• Van Buren County, one adult (18-40 years), one older adult (61-80 years);

• Warren County, one adult (18-40 years), one middle-age adult (41-60 years);

• Washington County, two adults (18-40 years), three middle-age adults (41-60 years), two older adults (61-80 years);

• And Woodbury County, one older adult (61-80 years).

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.