JOHNSTON, Iowa (KMTV) — On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds provided an update on the state’s efforts in fighting the spread of COVID-19 and said Iowa will oppose vaccine passports legislatively or on an executive level.
Reynolds said she is against such a concept because believes it violates personal choice, personal privacy, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and could marginalize some residents of the state.
Nationally, airlines and other business groups have been lobbying the White House to take a role in standardizing the health passes but the Biden Administration said it will leave that up to the private sector.
While Reynolds is against a vaccine passport, she said the state is continuing to encourage people across the state to get vaccinated, especially in marginalized communities. The state is still seeing smaller numbers of people in those groups getting vaccinated, but numbers have gone up a few percentage points across the board.
Outreach efforts will continue and vaccination clinics in minority communities are being coordinated across Iowa, Reynolds said.
The governor also provided an update on an incident at the Anamosa State Penitentiary which left two staff members dead. Internally, changes have been made and more will likely come following an internal and external investigation Reynolds said.
Staffing at the prison is about 93% filled and an additional 5% is actively being sought. Another 2% of the prison’s staffing needs are unfunded but the Reynolds said the state will continue to work with the prison to see that it and other prisons have staffing needs are met.
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