Governor Kim Reynolds says while escalating Covid patient counts in Iowa hospitals have set records every day this week, hospitals aren’t being overrun and the vast majority of patients do not have the virus.
“When you take a look at the census, or the people that are hospitalized across the state and the number of individuals that are hospitalized due to Covid, on average it’s about 11 percent,” Reynolds said early this evening.
Tonight, Iowa hospitals are reporting treating 606 Covid patients and the state’s coronavirus tracking website shows about 33 percent of hospital beds are available. Reynolds said recently developed therapeutics that were not available earlier in the pandemic are improving patient outcomes.
“While our hospitalizations are going up, we’re actually seeing the stay shortened,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds spoke with reporters tonight after a meeting in Stuart’s City Hall. The governor said she spoke with the news media in Sioux City a week ago and in Cedar Rapids earlier this week to remind Iowans of the basics: to stay home if they’re sick, wash their hands frequently and wear a mask if they cannot stay at least six feet from others.
“I’ve been doing a lot of radio, so I’ve been trying to call in and just remind people that we’re all in this together,” Reynolds said.
After ordering schools and some businesses to close this spring, Reynolds has said she trusts Iowans to be responsible in managing risks and learning to live with Covid-19, although she did order bars in a handful of counties to close for a few weeks in late summer when Covid cases spiked among young adults.
“We want to continue to keep things open, we just have to do it in a safe and responsible manner. We want to continue to keep our kids in school,” said Reynolds, who has indicated 75-80% of Iowa students are getting in-person instruction.
On Wednesday, the Republican governor mocked U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield, a Democrat, for suspending her RV tour after the first day. Greenfield staffers had contact with someone who tested positive for Covid. After getting negative test results, Greenfield and her staff resumed campaigning today. Reynolds told reporters her criticism was not of Greenfield’s approach to Covid protocols, but that Greenfield hasn’t held public events in all 99 counties.
“She never got on the campaign trail,” Reynolds said. “That’s what I’ve been sayin’.”
Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst campaigned with Vice President Mike Pence today in Des Moines.
“I’m asking for your support November 3 to keep the Senate red,” Ernst said just before she introduced Pence to a crowd at the Des Moines airport. “…I am asking you to get out and talk to everyone about Donald J. Trump and Michael Pence and make sure you’re getting people off the fence, getting them to the polls and voting Republican up and down the ticket.”
Greenfield campaigned in Cass County this afternoon and in Madison County this evening.