The state of Iowa has now had over 18,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.
Iowa’s virus-case total at the time of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Wednesday news conference was 18,262. Additionally, the total number of Iowan deaths on Wednesday morning was at 487.
Locally, Washington County saw one new case, bringing the county total to 185. Henry County had three new cases for a total of 67 and Jefferson County had one new case for a total of 19.
During her news conference, Reynolds said 2,250 Iowans were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a state record so far. Though, according to the contract between NomiHealth and the state, it was said that testing capabilities would be 3,000 tests conducted each day on top of what the state was already doing.
Reynolds also announced new TestIowa testing sites this week. The new sites are in Sioux Center, Marshalltown, Council Bluffs and West Burlington. Reynolds said Iowans need to take the online assessment in order to schedule an appointment through TestIowa. She said “appointments are filling up fast” at all locations since the criteria was broadened last week to include testing anyone who would like a COVID-19 test.
On Wednesday, Buena Vista County shot up to having the highest per capita number of COVID-19 cases in the state. The county’s total number of cases was 675 as of Wednesday morning, a jump of over 400 since Tuesday. When asked about reporting outbreaks at meat packing plants and other businesses in the state, Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said that as of right now, the state publicly announces outbreaks at long-term care facilities when at least three residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
“At this point in time, we don’t have existing plans to change how we’re doing it,” Reisetter said.
“When asked on Wednesday about the rationale behind waiting for news reporters to ask about packing plant and manufacturing plant outbreaks to publicly announce them, Reisetter said that sometimes it takes time pull together information.
“There’s work that goes on to notify people that have been in close contact outside of merely announcing it at a press conference,” she said.
Overall, 139,146 Iowans had been tested for COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning. The total number is equal to one out of every 23 Iowans being tested. 9,896 Iowans have been confirmed as recovered according to IDPH data