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‘A Matter of When, Not If’ Virus Would Hit State Facility That Now Has Outbreak


JOHNSTON, Iowa — Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia said Monday that she knew COVID-19 would eventually spread to her department’s facilities and it now has. Garcia confirmed that six residents tested positive for the virus at the Woodward Resource Center, which treats people with complex behavioral or medical needs.

“We knew it would be a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if’ we had a confirmed positive in any of our six facilities,” Garcia said.

Garcia said the residents have been isolated from other residents as they recover. Staff at the facility were already required to wear masks at all times and DHS had instituted a temporary ban on visitors into the facility to minimize the chances of spreading the virus.

“Not dissimilar to long-term care facilities,” Garcia said, “our staff are in close contact with some vulnerable individuals. And we’ve undertaken significant efforts to keep everyone safe.”

Sunday, DHS released a breakdown of virus at all six of its facilities.


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