DES MOINES, Iowa. (KMTV) — On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds provided an update on COVID-19’s impact on the state and its response.
Over the course of October, Reynolds said the state saw a significant increase in cases with more than 41,000 total for the month of October and a positivity rate at 14.7.
In regards to hospitalizations, there were 393 people being cared for on Oct. 1. At the end of the month, 676 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment.
In response to the rising numbers, Reynolds said the state is “doubling down” with a campaign across multiple media formats to encourage people to step up and take responsibility for slowing the spread. She said many are not heeding the advice to socially distance, mask up, practice proper hand hygiene, and avoid gathering in groups.
When questioned as to whether an increased campaign to encourage such behavior would work, Reynolds seemed optimistic that it may help slow the spread.
Dr. Dave Williams, Chief Clinical Officer at UnityPoint Health and one of two Iowa medical officials who joined Reynolds, said “We have to start listening. It’s time to get this pandemic under control.”
Reynolds also said the state is providing $25 million to hospitals across Iowa to help with increased staffing needs as more people contract the virus, including staff which has led to shortages and overtime for many.
Reynolds also took time to double down on keeping kids in school and people at work saying lives and livelihood had to be balanced.
As the winter months approach and temperatures drop, Reynolds said Test Iowa sites are beginning to move indoors to allow testing to continue.
She said the state is continuing to look at other options for test kits as reserves continue to decline, including a saliva-based test which would be less invasive.
You can find more information on Test Iowa sites by going to coronavirus.iowa.gov.
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