DES MOINES, Iowa — Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force reported Iowa has seen a decrease in new cases and a decrease in test positivity in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
In the latest report obtained by ABC News, the task force wrote it is "encouraged" by the steps Gov. Kim Reynolds is taking to decrease community transmission.
"COVID-related hospitalizations will continue in the coming weeks," the task force noted.
However, the report added that with increased strong mitigation measures, cases could decline to the yellow zone in the next four to five weeks.
Long-Term Care Facility Outbreaks
The number of long-term care centers in Iowa that are reporting outbreaks among residents and staff has been increasing over the last several weeks. More than 140 out of the 400 or so are considered outbreak status.
The task force noted during the week of Nov. 9-Nov. 15, 30% of nursing homes had at least one new resident COVID-19 case, 66% had at least one new staff COVID-19 case, and 10% had at least one new resident coronavirus death.
So far, 1,008 long term care residents have passed away from coronavirus since the pandemic began.
The task force noted between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20, on average, 224 patients with confirmed coronavirus and 41 patients with suspected COVID-19 were newly admitted each day to Iowa hospitals. That's a 10% increase in total admissions.
New hospital admissions in Iowa are increasing across all age groups; investigate the rise in new admissions in those under 18 years old.
Suggestions from the Task Force
Below are some of the recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force for Iowa leaders to implement in order to slow the spread of COVID:
- limit restaurant indoor capacity to less than 25%
- conduct active testing in school for teachers and students
- masks must be worn by students and teachers in K-12 schools
- ensure all nursing homes, assisted living, and elderly care sites have full testing capacity
- consider pausing extracurricular school activities
The task force report is given to Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Read the full report below