New Protective Measures Ordered For Northeast Iowa Counties
With the number of coronavirus cases climbing to more than 100 in Black Hawk County, Gov. Kim Reynolds Thursday signed a proclamation that requires northeast Iowans to take additional protective measures in the fight against the pandemic.
The order goes into effect at midnight and continues through April 30. The following counties are included in the proclamation: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek. The order applies to all people present in any of the 14 counties, regardless of whether they reside in one of these counties or another county.
People residing or working in the effected counties are required to abide by the Governor’s order at all times regardless of where they are located, including at a workplace or residence in another county. Reynolds announced details of the proclamation during Thursday's daily briefing with the media.
Reynolds’ proclamation limits social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings in the region to only people who live together in the same household. And it continues to limit weddings, funerals, and other spiritual or religious gatherings to no more than 10 people.
The proclamation also requires people to remain six feet away from people outside their household whenever possible, and requires employers to take reasonable steps to increase telework and adopt reasonable precautions to protect the health of employees and the public at any in-person operations.
The number of positive tests increased to 109 in Black Hawk County Thursday, with state health officials announcing 24 new cases. They were among 146 new cases statewide, which jumped the total to 2,141. More than 10-percent of Iowa's total cases involve long-term care facilities, state health officials said.
During her daily press briefing, Reynolds also announced seven additional deaths, two of which occurred in Allamakee County. The virus has now claimed 60 lives in Iowa and is present in 82 of the state’s 99 counties. Reynolds said 49-percent of the deaths involve long-term care facilities, nine of which are now reporting outbreaks of COVID-19.
State officials are continuing to monitor increased activity at long-term care and food production facilities across Iowa. The Governor said the state’s testing capacity has been ramping up over the past week and health officials now have the ability to conduct targeted surveillance testing in those types of facilities.
Reynolds pointed out that state sent an additional 900 tests to the Tyson Foods meatpacking plant in southeast Iowa, where more than 100 workers have been infected. She said more than 1,500 tests are being sent to the Tyson plant in Waterloo, where another outbreak is suspected.
According to health officials, 987 Iowans have recovered from the coronavirus.