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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Live updates: Des Moines Public Schools finishing year online; total positive cases surpass 1,000 in Iowa

Latest numbers released Tuesday: 1,048 total positive cases, 26 deaths and 11,670 negative tests.

Local 5 is compiling the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it develops in Iowa.

According to numbers released Monday morning from the Iowa Department of Public Health, 1,048 Iowans have tested positive for the coronavirus with 11,670 tests coming back negative. 

Another death confirmed Tuesday morning means the state's total number of fatalities is 26.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said 341 Iowans have recovered from the virus.

Tuesday, April 7

Pottawattamie County releases detailed information about positive cases

A Facebook post from the Pottawattamie County Public Health Department gives a more detailed account of positive cases in the county.

The county announced two additional cases on Tuesday. The tenth case is a middle-aged man (41-60) from Minden. He didn't have contact with an existing case and had traveled out-of-state within 14 days of onset of symptoms, according to the post. He was tested on March 28 and has been self-quarantining since that day.

The eleventh case is another middle-aged man, but he's from Council Bluffs. He did have contact with an existing case. He also has preexisting medical conditions. He was tested on March 30 and has been self-quarantining since then.

There are no exposure locations in the county, but public health officials continue to conduct tracing investigations and communicated with the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

State identifies 2 nursing homes hit with COVID-19 outbreaks

The Iowa Department of Public Health has released the identities of two nursing homes where outbreaks of the coronavirus have infected residents and contributed to a large share of the state’s known infections. 

The facilities were identified Tuesday as the McCreedy Home in Washington County and Premier Estates of Toledo in Tama County. Health officials had withheld that information from the public Monday. Those homes and Heritage Specialty Care in Cedar Rapids are the sites of the three outbreaks at long-term care facilities confirmed in Iowa. 

Under the state’s definition, that means three or more residents have tested positive. 

Reporting by the Associated Press

RELATED: Gov. Reynolds says outbreak at Iowa care facility has infected 21

Des Moines Public Schools will finish school year online, according to official

DMPS Director of Communications and Public Affairs Phil Roeder confirmed that schools will finish the year online. 

"Our plan is to conclude the school year through online learning and distance learning and in short, not go back into the school buildings this year," Roeder told Local 5's Lakyn McGee via Skype.

"You know, from a lot of the projections and predictions, it looks as if the peak of COVID-19 here in Iowa is going to be right around the end of April, and so we've had some very serious concerns about going back to school right after that peak," Roeder said. 

Latest numbers from Iowa Department of Public Health

Another Iowan died from COVID-19 complications. They were an elderly adult (81+) from Benton County. Total fatalities in the state is 26.

The total number of positive cases is 1,048. Three new counties, Buena Vista, Delaware and Greene, have positive cases. 78 out of Iowa's 99 counties have positive cases of COVID-19.  

Negative tests are now at 11,670 in the state. There are 1,690 available tests through the State Hygienic Lab.

As of Monday night, 104 Iowans are hospitalized and 341 have recovered.

According to the IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the new cases are:

  • 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)

Regional Medical Coordination Center locations explained

Regional Medical Corrdination Centers (RMCCs) are a "critical" resource to support healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, explained what RMCCs do at the governor's press conference.

"In short, RMCCs help facilitate multi-agency and civilian-partner communication, critical information sharing and coordination of healthcare-related resources across the regions that they serve," he said.

There are six locations in the state, all located in Iowa National Guard armories:

  1. Region 1: Camp Dodge
  2. Region 2: Mason City
  3. Region 3: Sioux City
  4. Region 4: Council Bluffs
  5. Region 5: Iowa City
  6. Region 6: Cedar Rapids

Reynolds said that under "normal" conditions, each region is served by separate health care systems, community hospitals and independent providers. The RMCCs are using these regions to plan for when resources need to be pooled together.

Watch the full press conference

RELATED: What's the Iowa National Guard's role during COVID-19 pandemic?

State Auditor Rob Sand says governor failed to answer basic questions about pandemic assessment tool

According to a release from the Office of Auditor of State, Gov. Reynolds failed to answer basic questions about the pandemic assessment tool being used to determine which mitigation tactics to use in the state.

State Auditor Rob Sand said he asked the governor for background information on the tool twice since April 2. Sand released the letter he sent out on April 4 that asks specific questions about this tool.

Successful MERS vaccine in mice may hold promise for COVID-19 vaccine

A vaccine that fully protects mice against a lethal dose of MERS has been developed by researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia. 

MERS is a close cousin of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, so this could be promising research that could develop into a COVID-19 vaccine. The study is still in its early stages— it's only been done on mice.


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