Iowa's COVID-19 death count jumps by 26 to 444

Iowa's COVID-19 death count jumps by 26 to 444

  • Updated
Iowa's COVID-19 death count jumps by 26 to 444

This March 24, 2020 photo provided by the Iowa Department of Corrections shows Inmates working to produce hand sanitizer at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa. Inmates have produced thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer, masks, face shields and gowns as Iowa faces a shortage of personal protective equipment needed to fight the coronavirus. I

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of coronavirus deaths in Iowa jumped by 26 to 444 on Saturday, the highest daily increase on record.

The latest deaths added to the count occurred from May 9 to May 22, according to a news release from the state. The state also reported 419 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 16,767.

Among the state's victims was Jose Andrade-Garcia, who was one week away from retiring from his job at the JBS meatpacking plant in Marshalltown when he tested positive for the coronavirus. He died last week on a ventilator, KCCI-TV reported.

His family blames JBS for not enforcing social distancing protocols soon enough.

In a news release sent on May 13, Greeley, Colorado-based JBS said it was screening for symptoms, physically distancing workers from one another, and making personal protective equipment available to employees.

The League of United Latin American Citizens is asking for mandatory weekly testing at all meatpacking facilities. Andrade-Garcia’s family echoes LULAC’s demands and said it’s a matter of life and death.

“I think that would have saved my dad’s life,” said daughter Maria Andrade.

JBS’ mitigation efforts were put into place after nearly 300 employees tested positive for the virus at a Colorado plant. JBS also said it’s deeply saddened by the loss of Andrade-Garcia, adding that he was a committed team member and a friend to many. The company said it plans to continue to offer support to his family.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, KCCI-TV.

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