500 Iowans dead due to COVID-19

IDPH confirms another Tyson outbreak in Storm Lake.

Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter opened Thursday’s news conference addressing reporting outbreaks at processing and manufacturing facilities in Iowa.

“Businesses are not currently required to report an outbreak to the Iowa Department of Public Health,” she said.

Reisetter said IDPH doesn’t always have information on businesses so they are not always aware of when a 10% mark is reached.

“The most important thing for Iowans to know is how to take care of yourself and your heath,” IDPH director said.

Reisetter confirmed an outbreak at the Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake, located in Buena Vista County. She said 555 of 2,517 employees had tested positive for coronavirus as of Thursday morning. Buena Vista had 697 total COVID-19 cases at the time of the news conference.

“We just have to make sure we’re balancing the privacy of individuals and the public health impact,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in regards to how reporting outbreaks at businesses works.

Across the state, Iowa’s total number of COVID-19 cases was 18,502 Thursday morning and the total number of Iowan deaths was at 500.

Locally, Washington, Henry and Jefferson counties had no new cases Thursday morning.

As of the time of Thursday’s news conference, 142,321 Iowans had been tested for COVID-19 which is equal to one out of every 22 Iowans being tested.

On Wednesday, Reynolds announced new TestIowa testing sites this week. The new sites are in Sioux Center, Marshalltown, Council Bluffs and West Burlington. Reynolds said Iowans need to take the online assessment in order to schedule an appointment through TestIowa.

The total number of Iowans who have been confirmed as recovered from the virus was 10,148 on Thursday morning.

Locally, Washington County had 148 individuals who have recovered, Henry County had 49 and Jefferson County had 10.