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Iowa governor talks of reopening state as virus cases soar

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she's taking initial steps to allow elective surgeries in hospitals and open farmer's markets on the day that new positive cases surged.

IOWA, USA — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' daily press conference Friday, April 24, 2020 at 11 a.m. on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the state.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she's taking initial steps to allow elective surgeries in hospitals and open farmer's markets on the day that new positive coronavirus cases jumped by 521 and 11 more people died. 

That brings the state's total of positive cases to 4,445, while 29,783 have tested negative, and deaths to 107. The surge in cases is the highest number of positive cases reported in a single day since the state's first confirmed case in March. 

Reynolds says Friday that she plans on further announcements of a phase one resumption of activity next week. The closure of non-essential businesses is set to expire in Iowa on April 30.

If hospitals begin elective surgeries, the facilitiy must follow guidelines such as proving an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that does not rely on the state's stockpile. Farmer's markets must also follow protocol such as following 6-foot distancing recommendations and limiting what is sold.

She says 30% of Iowa's positive cases are in manufacturing, which is mostly meatpacking workers. Fifteen percent are health care workers. 

Reynolds said 2,712 tests were administered on Thursday. The governor also said 1 in 98 Iowans have been tested for the new coronavirus.

Reynolds also put out a call for nurses to work at nursing home as outbreaks of the coronavirus reach 13 long-term care facilities.

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