JOHNSTON, Iowa. (KMTV) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds held a press conference to discuss COVID-19 response efforts in the state.
Early in the briefing, the governor called on Congress to “get together” and pass another stimulus package for Iowans whose livelihoods and lives have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Although the state is still allocating CARES Act funding to programs and people in need, Reynolds said it’s not enough to help those seeking help. Federal funds are needed she said.
For the month of November, the governor said the majority of counties in Iowa saw either stabilization or a reduction in positivity rates as the weeks went by. She credited Iowans for doing the right thing by masking up, maintaining social distance and practicing good hand hygiene.
She also credited restrictions put in place by a public health measure that went into effect on Nov. 16. The measure placed restrictions on closing times and capacities at places such as at gyms, sporting events, restaurants, bars and more. The measure is currently set to expire on Dec. 10.
Although counties, in general, saw a reduction in positivity rates, outbreaks at long-term care facilities continued to plague the state during November.
Reynolds was also joined by Karen Hyatt of the Iowa Department of Human Services to discuss mental health resources that are available to residents... something Reynolds said is especially important considering studies that showed higher levels of depression and anxiety among residents when compared to data from the previous two years.
This year, in addition to COVID-19, many Iowans are still dealing with the impact of 2019’s flooding along the Missouri River, the derecho that left a path of destruction across the state and drought which hit farmers hard, Hyatt said.
Hyatt said receiving help is easier than ever thanks to a federal grant which will allow the department to help out more people.
Counseling can be provided over the phone, video chat, texting and a number of other ways.
If you or someone you know needs help coping during the pandemic, call 1-844-775-WARM (9276) or visit www.covidrecoveryiowa.org for more information.
In regards to COVID-19 vaccination supplies and the state’s plan for distribution, Reynolds said Iowa is waiting to hear from the CDC but expects to do so later today. Once that information is available, Reynolds said Iowa will begin finalizing their distribution plans.
Watch the briefing below or on our Facebook page.