Iowa's COVID-19 response ramps up testing, stresses social distancing

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOWT) -- On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke at a press conference about the state's ongoing efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, as the state's laboratory has enough tests for 400 people and is working to provide enough protective equipment to healthcare workers.

Gov. Kim Reynolds gave an update Tuesday morning, March 10, 2020, on coronavirus cases in Iowa and talked about what the state's health experts are doing to identify potential exposure and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa. (NBC/WOWT)

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Reynolds said there are now 44 total confirmed cases in Iowa that are positive for the coronavirus. The individuals are in 13 different counties.

A map tracking cases will soon be a feature on the Iowa Department of Public Health's website. Statewide agencies and organizations are making sure healthcare workers have enough equipment like face masks during the crises.

However, Reynolds said there is not a shortage of supplies -- efforts are being made to prevent supplies running short by being proactive, she explained.

The state's Hygenic lab has expanded to three shifts running tests for patients. An increase in positive cases is likely as the tests are conducted, Reynolds said.

Medical Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health Dr. Caitlin Pedati said the state's lab has supplies to test 400 people.

"We've adjusted the testing approach and criteria when we want to test someone we want to be sure the result means something," she said. "Right now it is important to keep in mind not every person is going to need a test."

Reynolds was asked if a shelter in place order would happen in Iowa to keep people at home. She said it is not something being considered at this time.