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Iowa Governor Responds to Dr. Fauci’s Advice for States to Order a ‘Shelter in Place’

Coronavirus

JOHNSTON, Iowa – Governor Kim Reynolds defended herself Friday afternoon as to why she still has not issued a shelter-in-place order for Iowans.

Governor Reynolds said, “I want Iowans to understand that we have taken significant and incremental steps to mitigate the spread of the virus since we identified our first case in Iowa on March 8. We were ahead of many states in our response efforts and we continue to dial up our mitigation efforts.”

These steps have included closing schools, local businesses such as bars, restaurants, salons and more until April 30.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he didn’t understand why every state hasn’t issued a shelter-in-place order yet on Thursday. In response to Fauci’s advice, Reynolds said he might not know all the facts.

“You can’t just look at a map and assume no action has been taken. That is completely false. I just listed through a list of incremental steps when they found out about the three positive cases on March 8. So I would say to him that we have closed down schools,” Reynolds said.

According to Google Community Mobility Reports, Iowans staying at home are up 10 percent, while surrounding states like Minnesota that have a stay-at-home order are seeing an increase of 14 percent.  

On Thursday, the governor showed people that she is looking at a regional map with assessment levels between a one and ten.

Reynolds said a shelter in place would not be ordered until an area reaches the top of the chart.

Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said, “The regional map displayed on the screen during the press conference yesterday and today is the regional medical coordination center map, which mirrors the health care coalition service areas that were developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health in 2016 to strengthen regional coordination for responding to disasters such as the one we are currently experiencing.”

Health officials explained the data they are looking at includes the number of available beds, available ventilators and the number of patients in intensive care units.

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