Illinois, Iowa governors offer COVID-19 updates. Iowa Gov. Reynolds says Iowa is 'not at the place' for shelter-in-place
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Illinois, Iowa governors offer COVID-19 updates. Iowa Gov. Reynolds says Iowa is 'not at the place' for shelter-in-place

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The governors of Illinois and Iowa took to live video streams Sunday, offering updates on the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in their states.

Both Scott County and Rock Island County now have confirmed resident cases.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the closures of salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, swimming pools and more businesses, and she pleaded with Iowans to remain in their homes as much as possible, especially if they are feeling sick, to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

But Reynolds stopped short of issuing a shelter-in-place order for Iowa, as have at least a half-dozen states, including eastern neighbor Illinois.

“At this point we’re going to continue to re-evaluate every day, we’ll sit down with the (Iowa) Department of Public Health, we’ll look at the (federal) CDC guidelines, we’ll look at what’s happening in other states, and we’ll evaluate what we’re seeing in the state of Iowa, where the hot spots are, and we’ll make that decision going forward,” Reynolds said Sunday during a news conference held in the State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

“But right now we’re not at the place where we’re ready to implement that (shelter-in-place) order.”

A shelter-in-place order can vary from state to state. But generally it would mean individuals would be required to stay in their homes other than to conduct essential tasks like buying groceries or caring for family members, and only essential businesses — like grocers, gas stations, supply chain manufacturers and health care facilities, for example — would be allowed to remain open. Such is the case in Illinois, where a shelter-in-place order began Saturday night.

Reynolds said Sunday the state is not yet ready to create such an order; she instead pleaded with Iowans to make the individual choice to practice caution.

There has been a steady increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa since the first case was confirmed here, the number of cases has doubled over the past two days.

From March 9 to March 20, a span of 12 days, there were 45 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Iowa, and no deaths, according to state data.

Over the past two days, an additional 45 Iowa cases have been confirmed.

Thus far the Iowa public health department has been publishing the number of confirmed cases and the number of negative tests for the coronavirus.

Starting next week, the state also will make public the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and the number of individuals who have recovered from the virus, a spokesman for the governor’s office said. A state public health department official said Sunday that the state has been tracking that data.

Reynolds during Sunday’s news conference also detailed suggested guidelines for child care facilities in Iowa. The state human services department is recommending, among other preventative steps:

  • parents who are working remotely should keep their children at home with them.
  • child care facilities may stay open, but should conduct temperature screenings upon drop-off. Children with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should not be allowed to stay at a child care facility.
  • child care facilities should take precautionary cleaning measures like disinfecting all surfaces and toys, removing all plush toys and barring families from bringing plush toys from home, and washing blankets daily.

Illinois confirms 296 new cases

Illinois confirmed 296 new cases on Sunday, including the one in Rock Island County, and three more deaths. There have been 1,096 cases and nine deaths in 30 Illinois counties.

At the news conference, Gov. J.B. Pritzker encouraged Illinoisans to visit serve.illinois.gov to find volunteer opportunities and asked healthy, eligible people to consider donating blood. He also said businesses that want to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers are asked to email PPE.donations@illinois.gov.

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