As positive cases top 1,000, Iowa plans for anticipated peak later this month

As the state reported positive cases of COVID-19 have topped 1,000, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke to the critical role the Iowa National Guard is playing in coordination of health care resources across Iowa as it prepares for an expected peak later this month.

Iowa National Guard adjutant general Ben Corell said over 200 Iowa National Guard soldiers and airmen are currently on duty in the state’s response effort, and transportation units have delivered personal protective equipment(PPE) to all 99 counties, with several counties having received multiple deliveries.

In addition, he said planning and coordination cells have been established to help manage efforts, and he has also activated three additional task force headquarters across the state to support pandemic response activities. These are designed to provide planning, coordination, communication and command and control of the military forces activated in support of local, state and federal partners.

And, at the direction of the governor, six regional medical coordination centers (RMCCS) have been established at Iowa National Guard armories within the six health care regions in support of the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa health care coalitions. Regional public health officials supported by Iowa National Guard soldier and airmen are staffing these centers to support health care providers in making informed treatment decisions based on immediately available resources like open beds, available staffing, PPE and other critical health care assets, he explained.

“Iowans are used to seeing our soldiers and airmen responding to floods, tornadoes, winter storms and other natural disasters,” he said. “The strength of our organization is in these soldiers and airmen who live and work in your community while serving part time until we need them to answer the call. We are now answering the call and we will always be ready to support our fellow Iowans.”

The governor explained that in preparation of an emergency, RMCCs proactively plan how to pool resources and work together as one health system serving the needs of a region, or the entire state. Understanding capacities enables coordination of care should patient volume dramatically increase. If ventilator capacity, for example, becomes insufficient, the RMCCs will coordinate the relocation of units to accommodate the need. This can even be done with patients.

“I want to extend my gratitude to Iowa’s primary health systems, including UIHC, UnityPoint Health, MercyOne and Genesis, as well as all of the community hospitals across the state,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Your commitment to coming together as one system to serve Iowans during this unprecedented time is admirable. So, thank you for everything you are doing, and what you and your teams will do in the days and weeks to come.”

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Tuesday said it had been notified of 102 additional positive cases for a total of 1,048. There have been an additional 1,017 negative tests for a total of 11,670 to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

According to IDPH, one additional death was also reported.

  • Benton County, 1 elderly adult (81+)

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the 102 individuals include:

  • Benton County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Black Hawk County, 3 adults (18-40 years)
  • Buena Vista County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Delaware County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Des Moines County, 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Dubuque County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle age (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Greene County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Hamilton County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Henry County, 1 child (0-17 years), 1 adult (18-40 years), 2 middle-age adults (41-60 years)
  • Johnson County, 10 adults (18-40 years), 4 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years), 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Linn County, 4 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Louisa County, 7 adults (18-40 years), 3 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Mahaska County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Marion County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Marshall County, 2 adults (18-40 years)
  • Muscatine County, 2 children (0-17 years), 3 adults (18-40 years), 3 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Polk County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Pottawattamie County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Scott County, 6 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Story County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Tama County, 3 older adults (61-80 years), 3 elderly (81+)
  • Warren County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Washington County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years), 1 elderly (81+)
  • Woodbury County, 1 adult (18-40 years)

NOTE: A previously reported positive case Allamakee County is actually a resident of Clayton County.

A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa is provided by IDPH and can be found here. In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.

The state of Iowa has started sharing the number of negative tests conducted at outside labs, and is providing additional information on the conditions of those infected with COVID-19.