300-plus Iowa residents test positive from Nebraska plant

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

DES MOINES — A jump in positive COVID-19 cases to 539 new confirmed cases announced Tuesday was in part due to results just received from the state of Nebraska from a food processing facility. Of those new cases, 319 were tied to testing at the plant from April 28-30.

“They were notified of the results shortly after being tested, but the reporting back to the state of Iowa was delayed,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said.

Many of those cases were added to Woodbury County’s total which saw its total number of cases increase 312 from the day before to a new total of 1,988. Woodbury County currently has the second-highest amount of confirmed cases, trailing only Polk County which has 2,447. Plymouth County added five more cases to reach 67 total. Of those 67, 21 have recovered.

Dr. Sarah Reisetter of the Iowa Department of Public Health gave an update on the use of Remdesivir as a treatment possibility for those with COVID-19.

“The medicine can be used for both adults and children hospitalized with severe COVID-19 illness,” Reisetter said. “It has been shown in clinical trials to shorten recovery time for some patients. At this time, Iowa has received 400 vials of Remdesivir. Patients will require either six or 11 vials for treatment, depending on their needs.”

Reisetter added that Iowa’s allocation of vials will be distributed by the State Hygienic Lab to hospitals using information about the number of hospitalized patients in an area, the number of patients in ICU in an area and trends of case activity throughout the state.

Reynolds delayed any announcement on her orders which run through May 15. While hinting at a possible announcement at her Monday press conference she said she was still reviewing information to guide her decision about the proclamation currently in effect.

“I know that Iowans and businesses are eager to know what’s next, but as I’ve said all along, these decisions must be made carefully and driven by data,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to providing that update tomorrow (Wednesday).”

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