IOWA, USA — In an effort to be transparent with Iowans on the coronavirus pandemic, the Iowa Department of Public Health is making another update to its website.
Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement at her Monday morning press conference. She provided a short demonstration, saying a more detailed demonstration for coronavirus.iowa.gov will be done on Tuesday.
So what are the changes?
Reynolds said the biggest one is will be that Iowans can track newly reported cases in real time.
"You'll be able to see exactly where the numbers stand where whenever you decide to check the website," she said.
She included that this will make it simpler for reporting data, as case investigations often provide information that will change numbers reported on a certain day.
"For example, when lab results come in overnight, they may be, there may be some that reported as positive cases for that current day, but through case investigation it's learned that some cases were actually identified before the cutoff at 11:59," Reynolds explained.
"So a correction is made, and those cases are moved to the previous day's count. In this situation, the total number of all positive cases is accurate and remains the same, but the daily numbers shift slightly."
Reynolds also said data for counties may change depending on case investigations.
WATCH: Gov. Kim Reynolds' full press conference for May 18, 2020
"The data is fluid and you may notice some of these changes depending on what you're tracking," Reynolds said." While this is a noticeable change from how the information has been shared previously, I believe the transparency of providing it to you in real time, makes the information even more valuable and relevant."
Other new changes include a trend line for the percent of all Iowans that have tested positive compared to other data, like Iowans tested on a certain day.
Serology testing data will also be included. Reynolds said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the State Medical Director and epidemiologist, will provide more information on serology testing on Tuesday.
There will also be more updates to the long-term care dashboard to include more information on outbreaks, recovery data and more.
A new call center is open for TestIowa for any Iowans with questions on the assessment. However, it should be noted that they cannot help you fill out the assessment. The number to call can be found within the assessment on TestIowa's website.
IDPH confirms 2 eastern Iowan kids have MIS-C, syndrome related to COVID-19
Monday's press conference also included the official recognition of two cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, in eastern Iowa.
Pedati said it's something that they're looking at "very closely in order to learn more now."
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory on the syndrome.
Pedati said MIS-C causes fever and inflammation throughout the body. It's being compared to another inflammatory condition found in children called Kawasaki disease.
They're similar because of the inflammatory symptoms that are presented several weeks after a likely infections. Pedati said health officials know that MIS-C is a new condition that is distinct from Kawasaki disease.
Since it's new, the IDPH is requiring health care providers to report any suspecting cases to them.
"This allows us to receive these reports from clinicians and public health professionals involved to gather more information to understand this condition and how we can manage it," Pedati said.
Pedati reminded parents to make sure they're keeping their children safe from COVID-19 by continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.
How is COVID-19 going to impact the state budget?
"It's hard to tell exactly at this point what the overall impact of COVID-19 will have on the state budget," Reynolds said.
The Legislative Services Agency released their revenue and budget implications of COVID-19 last Thursday. Tax revenue to the general fund is down over $400 billion, which is 36% between March and May.
In April, Reynolds said she would have an updated budget done that month.
But on Monday, she said she's been working on the budget and starting to go over numbers.
"Actually, I've been working with the legislature so we're working on our budget and starting to go over the numbers that I think LSA, if you read the entire report, said a lot of that was attributed to the deferred tax payments that we're due in April that have been deferred until July," she explained.
She said it's hard to tell what the pandemic's impact will have on the budget.
"It's why it's important to, in a very safe and responsible way, start not only to protect the health of Iowans but to look at the health of our economy as well," Reynolds said.
Read the full LSA report below
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact and staying home if you are sick as main areas of focus for prevention and containment of COVID-19.
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