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IA Gov. Reynolds: Businesses not required to report outbreaks

Posted at 11:01 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 13:17:08-04

DES MOINES, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds held a coronavirus briefing.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) says businesses are not legally required to report if there is a coronavirus outbreak at its facilities.

When a reporter asked why businesses aren't required to report outbreaks, and why the governor is not directly sharing information on businesses that have outbreaks, she said it's a matter of balancing the privacy of individuals and the public health impact.

The IDPH said their job is to work with the businesses to provide support and guidance on how to prevent and detect outbreaks and what to do when that happens.

The latest outbreak we're learning about is at a Tyson plant in Storm Lake Iowa. The town is in Buena Vista County, which has seen its coronavirus numbers double in two days.

After reporters pushed hard yesterday, today, the governor said more than 500 of the 2,500 employees at this plant tested positive.

The latest numbers out of Iowa:

  • More than 15 new deaths have been reported for a total of 503 in the state to date
  • More than 18,500 people have tested positive for the virus
  • More than half of those people are listed as recovered

While businesses are not required to report outbreaks, the IDPH says health providers are required to report when someone tests positive for the virus. From there, a contact tracer reaches out to someone who has tested positive and they ask that person questions like who they've interacted with and where they work.

3 News Now This Morning Anchor Courtney Johns provided live updates via Twitter:

Watch below.

You can find all our coronavirus coverage, including an exposure-site map, here