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

13 Iowans have now tested positive for COVID-19

12 out of 13 positive cases in Iowa all came from the same Egyptian cruise.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Thirteen Iowans have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Public Health Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, 46 people have tested negative in Iowa and 27 are still pending. 

"The number tests and positive cases are going to continue to rise," Gov. Kim Reynold said. "Community spread is going to continue to increase."

The five additional people that tested positive Tuesday are in self-isolation at their homes. 

All five new cases are older adults between the ages of 61 and 80 from Johnson County. They were on the Egyptian cruise with seven other Iowans that have already tested positive, meaning 12 of the 13 Iowa cases of COVID-19 were from the same cruise.

In total, 21 Iowans total were on the Egyptian cruise. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health contacted all 21 people. 

They found that these individuals have had limited contact since their return to Iowa and have avoided large gatherings.

The other person with COVID-19 in Iowa is a woman from Pottawattamie County. She's between the age of 41 and 60 years old and recently traveled to California.

Tuesday, officials addressed why they withhold certain information about people that have tested positive for COVID-19 in Iowa.

"We always balance respect and privacy of individuals with sharing information that the public needs to know to act on to protect their health," said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, state medical director and epidemiologist at the Iowa Department of Public Health. "As we learn more, if there are important messages that we need to share, we'll certainly do that. We've done that in the past and we'll continue to do that."

Pedati said if they aren't sharing specific information, such as airports people traveled through or locations they may have visited in the community, it means it's not relevant to protecting the public.

Reynolds said as of Tuesday, she's not recommending people completely avoid large gatherings. 

"We'll monitor," Reynolds said. "It is a fluid situation so that could change moving forward, but right now, we're not anticipating making any changes."

Reynolds did, however, suggest those at high risk for contracting the virus consider staying away from them. 

Officials said young children and adults are less likely to experience severe symptoms. Seniors are at high risk of contracting the virus. 

Tuesday, Reynolds said she encourages businesses and schools to go to the IDPH website for advice on if they should consider closing. 

"Right now, if you're trying to decide whether you should or shouldn't, I would encourage them to call the Department of Public Health. Walkthrough some of the things that they look for, some of the questions that they're asking and whether it's necessary to take that next step," Reynolds said. 

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