IOWA, USA — After announcing Monday that parts of Iowa can begin reopening non-essential businesses at a reduced capacity, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' gives a daily press conference Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 11 a.m. on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the state.
The governor confirmed 508 new cases for a total of 6,376 positive coronavirus cases; nine more people died from the virus.
Reynolds said 1,673 people were tested and overall, 1 in 79 Iowans have been tested. Across the state, there have been 33,447 negative tests. Reynolds said 98% of the new positive cases were from one of the 22 counties that extended the closure of non-essential businesses until May 15.
The state's other 77 counties can reopen businesses following set guidelines, Reynolds announced Monday.
There have also been seven additional outbreaks at long-term care facilities.
Reynolds acknowledged the future impact of the coronavirus on the state's budget and announced a hold on the Invest in Iowa Act, a tax proposal that would raise sales tax by 1 percent.
"This is going to have an impact on our budget, we know that," Reynolds said. Earlier in the press conference, Reynolds said, "It is really too early to acknowledge the impact of COVID-19," when asked about the Invest in Iowa Act.
On aid from the federal government
Reynolds said the state was at a $300 million surplus going into the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasized fiscal and conservative management of the budget.
She said, "I'm not saying we may not need it," when asked if Iowa needed additional support from the federal government.
On the state's lag in reporting times
Iowa's reports of confirmed cases of the coronavirus are updated as of 10 a.m. the previous day, lagging behind Blackhawk County.
"We will catch up with them tomorrow on the state's website."
On guidelines for businesses
All businesses are required to operate at 50% capacity, must provide hand sanitizer and must enforce 6-feet of social distancing. Employees are also to be screened at the start of shifts and must wear masks if working with customers.
Businesses are also required to put up signs to encourage 6-feet of social distancing and mark distances.
For restaurants and farmer's markets:
- No self-service
- No bar seating
- Consider moving to reservations only
- Use cashless options as often as possible
"I have confidence in Iowans to do the right thing," Reynolds said, also asking those most at risk to remain at home.
For more information visit coronavirus.iowa.gov
On Iowa's role in the food supply chain
Reynolds noted that Iowa produces 10% of the nation's food supply and supported President Donald Trump's use of the Defense Production Act on meat-processing facilities declaring them essential businesses.
"This is essential, critical infrastrucature," Reynolds said. "It is essential to keep the food supply chain moving. We have to figure out how to do that in a safe manner."