Gov. Reynolds. (RI photo)

The latest data from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows 61% of the patients in Iowa hospitals were admitted for treatment of Covid. All Iowa hospital patients are screened for Covid and about a thousand patients have tested positive for the virus.

Governor Kim Reynolds says a New York Times map shows the entire state of Iowa — like the rest of the country — is a Covid hot spot.

“No matter what you do, no matter what’s happening, omicron is very contagious and it is spreading,” Reynolds says. “…We continue to talk about the importance of getting the vaccine and the booster. You know, it’s not as effective with omicron, but it prevents serious illness and it’s keeping them out of the hospital.”

Reynolds stayed home because she was sick last Thursday and Friday and had no public events Monday either. The governor says it appears she’s recovering from a bad cold that she probably picked up from the nursing home where her mother is being cared for.

“It’s not Covid,” Reynolds says. “I tested again this morning, so we’ll continue to monitor that.”

Reynolds took a Covid test last Thursday that came back negative as well.

“You can tell in my voice that I still have a little bit of the cold,” Reynolds says. “…I talk to people that it lasts for three weeks. I talk to people that it lasts for a month and then the next day they wake up and it’s gone.”

Reynolds says a lot of her symptoms have been similar to Covid, so that’s why she’s taking the tests.

“We want to make sure that we’re safe and it’s not that,” Reynolds says, “and so I have a lot of grandkids and I have a mom that has the flu at the nursing home where I was helping, so I think that’s probably the source of where I got what I got.”

A spokesman for Reynolds says no one else in the governor’s office has caught whatever bug Reynolds got. Reynolds says as a public figure, it’s hard to cancel events like she did last Thursday and Friday.

“I spend a lot of time telling people when they’re sick, stay home, and so I decided I’d maybe better take my own advice and just stay home,” Reynolds says, “so that’s probably the best thing you can do is, if you’re sick, stay home.”

Reynolds spoke with reporters after attending an hour-long event in the statehouse rotunda this morning.