Iowa Dept. Of Public Health: Community Spread Of COVID-19 Now Detected In Iowa

Sat 3-14-2020

(Des Moines)-- The Iowa Department of Public Health announced this (Saturday) evening it has been notified of one additional positive case of COVID-19 in the state, for a total of 18 positive cases. The agency says the individual is an older adult age 61-80, and a resident of Dallas county.

Additionally, the Iowa Department of Public Health has determined, based on the new COVID-19 case and the announcement this (Saturday) evening of community spread in Omaha, Neb., there is now community spread in Iowa. 

Community spread occurs when individuals have been infected with the virus in an area and cannot specifically identity the source of the infection, or do not know how or where they became infected.

Due to the detection of community spread, the agency says new recommendations should be implemented immediately to have the most significant impact on slowing the spread of the virus. They say leaders of institutions and organizers of events should begin to act on their contingency plans related to large gatherings, including church services. They add Iowans should not hold or attend gatherings of more than 250 people, and consider making adjustments for smaller gatherings with high risk groups. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health is also urging healthcare organizations to review their contingency plans and consider how telehealth can support the needs of residents.

As of now the agency is not recommending school closures in the state.