Governor Kim Reynolds has released a video message to Iowans, urging them to voluntarily wear a mask and practice other public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Nearly 3,600 of COVID-19 among Iowans were confirmed by testing last week, the highest one-week total in nine weeks. Over the weekend, more than 1,200 additional cases were confirmed, with case numbers spiking in the Great Lake region and Polk County. The governor says simple steps are the best defense against the virus and that includes wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands.
The governor’s current public health emergency proclamation, issued in late June, is set to expire on July 25th. Reynolds has indicated parts of it may remain in force through the end of the year. She’s also hinted she may reinstate some restrictions on bars if the number of young adults testing positive for the virus continues to climb.
The number of Iowans hospitalized for treatment of the virus has increased 50% since June 28th. However, that’s about two-thirds below the peak in hospitalizations reached back on May 7th. The state website indicates 177 people are hospitalized on Monday.