Timeline: COVID-19 cases in the state of Iowa

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 12:04 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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Iowa (KWQC) - It has been over a year since COVID-19 hit the United States and began to affect the TV6 viewing area.

Here is a timeline of events starting on February 28, 2020. This is data from the state of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public Health on their tracking positive cases, negative cases and deaths in the state.


  • 2/28 – IDPH provides information on COVID19
    • Launches webpage that includes data on monitoring, testing and test results for COVID-19 in Iowa, as well as helpful information for businesses, schools and all Iowans.
  • 3/3 – IDPH requests Iowans returning from a country where COVID-19 is spreading to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days following their return.
    • Areas affected: Italy, Japan, South Korea
  • 3/8 – Iowa’s State Hygiene Lab has indicated three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa residents.
    • IDPH says they are from Johnson County. All three were part of a cruise in Egypt.
  • 3/9 – Gov. Reynolds signs Proclamation of Disaster Emergency.
    • The proclamation authorizes state agencies to utilize resources including personnel, equipment and facilities to perform activities necessary to prevent, contain and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus.
  • 3/12 – IDPH issues mass gathering recommendations for COVID-19.
    • No community spread is known in Iowa at this time. IDPH urges “the public to closely monitor messaging from IDPH”, says they are not canceling any planned events or mass gatherings at this time.
  • 3/13 – Gov. Reynolds signs proclamation to temporarily suspend requirements for transportation of food, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods by removing restrictions on oversize and overweight loads.
  • 3/14 – Community spread in Iowa is confirmed.
    • IDPH issues new recommendations for those with underlying conditions, says all Iowans should prepare for cancellations and disruptions in routine activities.
    • At this time, school closures are not recommended per CDC
    • Iowans should:
      • Those 60+ with underlying conditions should stay home and avoid gatherings, consider personal social distancing measures, consider working remotely, encourage staff to work remote, limit non-essential work travel, gatherings, follow CDC guidance regarding school closures
  • 3/15 – Gov. Reynolds recommends schools close for four weeks
    • “Based on new information today from the Iowa Department of Public Health, now is the time to move to the next level of response. I am now recommending that all Iowa schools close for a period of four weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
  • 3/17 – Gov. Reynolds issues State of Public Health Disaster Emergency
    • Implements temporary measures including moving restaurants to dive-through, carry-out and delivery only and closures of certain entities such as bars and recreational facilities.
    • Gov. Reynolds signs SF 2408, creating emergency measures and supplemental appropriations for key government services to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • 3/24 – IDPH is notified of the first death, a Dubuque County resident.
  • 4/5 – IDPH reports 80+ new cases, bringing the state total to 868 positive cases.
    • More than 10% of all positive cases are occurring among long-term care staff and residents in the state.
    • More than 40% of all deaths in the state are associated with outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
  • 4/16 – IDPH launches updated dashboard on that is updated daily to include COVID-19 tracking in the state.
    • The new dashboard includes deaths, cases and tests conducted in each county.
  • 4/19 – IDPH announces positive cases are now at 2,902 and one death was reported.
    • IDPH announced 389 new cases on this day, saying 67% of the cases can be attributed to surveillance testing of meat processing facilities. This includes 500 completed tests of Tyson employees and over 500 completed at National Beef employees.
  • 4/20 – IDPH announces positives cases are now at 3,159 and four additional deaths are reported.
    • IDPH announced 257 new cases on this day, saying 46 of those cases were from meat processing facilities; 27 from Tyson and 19 from National Beef.
  • 4/21 – IDPH announces 482 cases, bringing the state total to 3,641 and four additional deaths.
    • IDPH says 157 of the new cases are from meat processing facilities; 100 from Tyson and 57 from National Beef.
  • 4/28 – IDPH announces 508 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 6,376 cases. Additionally, nine deaths have been reported.
    • A large number of positive cases will continue to grow as IDPH says Test Iowa sites are opening and additional surveillance testing of large businesses and nursing home staff continues.
  • 7/2 - IDPH asks Iowans to follow public health measures ahead of 4th of July.
  • 7/23 - State of Iowa launches #StepUpMaskUpIA to slow spread of COVID-19.
  • 8/23 - IDPH reports first child death from COVID-19.
    • The death occurred in June and the case investigation was finished on August 6. The child was under the age of 5 and had significant underlying health conditions.
  • 8/28 - IDPH updates COVID-19 antigen test results following an increase in testing volume and new CDC guidance.
  • 10/1 - IDPH and Iowa Dept. of Inspections and Appeals update guidance for long-term care facilities to comply with the new requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • 11/16 - IDPH seeks qualified vendors to provide COVID-19 emergency contact tracing and case investigation services.
  • 12/7 - The state has announced a change in COVID-19 death reporting.
    • They will modify the methodology for counting and reporting deaths due to COVID-19. This will adjust the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19. The department elected to make the change with federal partners at the CDC as well as a review of the variety of methodologies in other states. The new methodology is consistent with the way the CDC reports deaths nationally, enhancing the accuracy of reporting.
  • 12/11 - Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine receives emergency use authorization.
    • Iowa will begin receiving shipments of Pfizer doses the week of December 13.
  • 12/16 - State officials announced the federal government notified the IDPH that the state, as well as other states, will not receive the volume of vaccines that was initially anticipated.
    • It appears their allocation would be reduced to as much as 30%.
  • 12/17 - IDPH receives updated planning numbers for COVID-19 vaccine allocations from the CDC.
  • 1/7/21 - Effective January 8, 2021, the Long Term Care (LTC) dashboard will reflect individuals who have died as a result of COVID-19 using the new methodology announced in December.
    • LTC deaths have been and continue to be included in the overall COVID-19 death total using the new method.
  • 1/11/21 - IDPH publishes vaccine administration data.
    • The updates will be published each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • 1/13/21 - State is moving forward with vaccination campaign, announces they are following guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine priority populations for Phase 1B.
  • 1/29/21 - IDPH has added vaccine administration data to state’s coronavirus website.
    • The dashboard includes data visualizations which include; number of those who have received one dose or both doses, total doses administered by recipient county of residence and by provider county, administration rates by age group, sex, race and ethnicity.
  • 2/1/21 - IDPH confirms three cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 in the state of Iowa.

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