Gov. Reynolds lifting capacity requirements on Iowa businesses
During her COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the effective at 8 a.m. Friday, all Iowa businesses could resume without 50% capacity restrictions.
Social distancing and hygiene practices are to remain in place as reopenings expand throughout the state, the governor said.
Swimming pools will also be allowed to open, she said. Adult day-care programs may also resume, she said, "if they comply with specific guidance being issued by the Department of Public Health."
More than 200,000 Iowans — 1 in 16 — have been tested for COVID-19, Reynolds said Wednesday, with more than 232,000 tests administered, which includes repeat testing.
The state's positivity rate sits at 11.1% overall, Reynolds said, noting that Tuesday's single-day rate was 5.4%.
That contrasts with the state's highest number of daily cases reported by the state — "in late April, when virus activity and surveillance testing was increasing," she said. At that time, 791 cases were reported in one day, and the state had a 30% positivity rate.
"Since then, positive case numbers have been consistently trending down," she said.
Hospital rates are also trending downward, Reynolds said.
In early May, the state reported more than 400 were hospitalized with 164 in ICUs, she said.
"Since then, these numbers have gradually and consistently decreased, and again, continue to do so," Reynolds said.
The governor reported that currently, 245 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, down from 255 reported Tuesday and 394 reported a month ago. Similarly, 73 COVID-19 patients are in an ICU, down from 82 reported Tuesday and 152 reported a month ago.
The state's regional medical coordination centers, or RMCCs, "responded as planned, helping coordinate the transfer of vents and other medical supplies to hospitals in need and/or assisting with the transfer of patients to other facilities for care," she said.
Throughout that time, healthcare resources — including hospital and ICU beds as well as ventilators — remained stable across the state, the governor said.
"Most importantly, Iowans received the quality of care that they needed and deserved," Reynolds said.
PPE inventory has also grown to serve immediate and longterm needs across the state, she said. Currently, Iowa has at least a 14-week supply of all essential PPE categories; meanwhile, regional and state health agencies continue to build "stockpiles capable of providing a combined 90 days of supply to area healthcare facilities."
Testing capacity has "increased significantly" across the state, Reynolds said.
The State Hygenic Lab has processed more than 80,000 tests — "more than any other lab serving our state." In addition, Test Iowa has tested more than 36,000 since opening on April 25; more than 25,000 have been tested since May 22, when testing criteria was opening to "anyone," she said.
On Monday, the state announced five new Test Iowa sites, Reynolds said. Four of those are clinic sites which partner state and local healthcare providers to increase testing access in rural areas, she said. Clinics operate and staff those sites while the state provides testing supplies and processes them at the State Hygenic Lab.
The new Test Iowa clinic sites are open at West Burlington, Waterloo, Clarinda, and Creston. Two more will open, one Wednesday and other on Thursday, in Carrol and Crawford counties; both will be run by St. Anthony regional hospital.
The state plans to open more sites next week, including one in Osage. Additionally, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids drive-through sites will be moving to other sites within those communities.
The governor reminded Iowans that would like to be tested for COVID-19 to fill out an assessment at TestIowa.com or update their assessments. She also noted that tests may also be obtained by contacting your healthcare provider.