Governor Kim Reynolds says there is a suspected COVID-19 outbreak among workers at a Tyson meat packing plant in Waterloo and 1500 COVID-19 test kits are being sent to the county.

Two more outbreaks have been confirmed in nursing homes. One is at the Linn Manor Care Center in Marion and the other is at Lutheran Living Senior Campus in Muscatine.

“We are continuing to monitor increased activity in long term care and food production facilities in some areas of our state,” Reynolds says, “and because we have been ramping up our testing capacity over the last few weeks, we now have the ability to conduct targeted surveilance testing in these facilities.”

Meat processing plants in Columbus Junction and Tama are closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks. State officials have so far confirmed outbreaks at a total of nine nursing homes. Additional test kits are being sent to Bremer, Muscatine, Johnson and Linn Counties for nursing home residents.

“Increased testing at this time is critical to not only targeting virus activity and identifying potential risk,” she said, “but also in implementing specific measures to slow the spread within a facility, business or community.”

Reynolds has said she will let Iowa schools know by the end of this week if the closures she ordered through April 30th will be extended into May.