Iowa reports 8 cases of coronavirus

Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 5:52 AM CDT
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Five more people in Iowa have tested presumptively positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to eight, state officials said Monday night.

According to officials, all cases are related to travel and all are recovering at home in isolation.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, individuals in four of the new cases live in Johnson County, are all older adults ages 61 to 80 years old, and were on the same Egyptian cruise as the previous three presumptive positive cases.

The remaining individual lives in Pottawattamie County, is a middle-aged adult between 41 and 60 years old, and recently traveled to California.

Testing for the Pottawattamie case was performed in Nebraska.

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed a proclamation of disaster emergency, which activates the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan.

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.

Reynolds will hold her weekly press conference at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10, to provide an update.

A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by IDPH can be found

. In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.

COVID-19 was first linked to an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in Dec. 2019, but cases have subsequently been identified in several countries including the U.S. The first presumptive positive cases in Iowa were identified on March 8.

Iowans can help prevent the spread of illness by following simple daily precautions including washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.

It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and IDPH recommends getting the flu vaccine. Influenza activity is widespread in Iowa and as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to receive the vaccine.