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12 new coronavirus deaths in Iowa, Black Hawk Co. adds 1

12 new coronavirus deaths in Iowa, Black Hawk Co. adds 1

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DES MOINES -- Black Hawk County added one new death from COVID-19 as state officials Wednesday announced 12 new deaths, the highest so far in a 24-hour period.

A total of 467 new confirmed cases of coronavirus were announced by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Reynolds noted 93% of the new cases were from the 22 counties not reopening businesses starting Friday, including Black Hawk County.

She also defended the reopening of the majority of the state's counties.

"I didn't just rip the Band-Aid off, or flip the light switch," she said Wednesday. "We think it makes sense to start loosening up in areas that have had little to no virus activity. We need to start to open it up in a responsible manner."

Wednesday's count brings Iowa's total number of cases to 6,843 and 148 deaths from COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

That means 2.2% of those confirmed infected with coronavirus statewide have died of COVID-19.

The governor said Wednesday the vast majority have been among older adults or those with underlying medical conditions. But racial and ethnic data, while available for Iowans who have been confirmed positive, wasn't yet going to be provided for its deaths, said IDPH deputy director Sarah Reisetter.

A total of 2,428 Iowans have recovered from coronavirus, a rate of 35%, Reynolds said.

Black Hawk County's death was a second elderly adult over the age of 81. The majority of the county's 13 deaths have been among younger adults so far. Black Hawk County has a death rate among those confirmed infected of a little over 1%.

A second TestIowa testing site was to open Wednesday at Crossroads Center in Waterloo, Reynolds said, noting only those who have completed a TestIowa.com assessment and been given a QR code will be tested at the site.

Allamakee County added two new cases Wednesday for a total of 88 cases and three deaths, a 3.4% death rate. Bremer County added two cases for a total of 50 cases and three deaths, a 6% death rate.

Tama County added one case for a total of 264 cases and seven deaths, a 2.7% death rate. Reynolds said 315 long-term care employees in Tama County were tested last week by one of the state's strike teams deployed specifically to test health care workers.

Buchanan County added two cases for a total of 16 cases, while Chickasaw County added one case for a total of five cases.

Fayette County added three cases for a total of 20, and Howard County added three cases for a total of 10 cases.

A total of 880 Iowa National Guard soldiers and airmen were currently on duty supporting a variety of missions across Iowa, the governor announced Wednesday.

That included distribution of personal protective equipment, administrative and logistical support for TestIowa sites, transporting test kits and samples from those test sites to the State Hygenic Lab, staffing three separate call centers for statewide COVID-19 mapping and assisting six regional food bank networks -- including the Northeast Iowa Food Bank -- with boxing, sorting and distributing food.

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds defended her decision to reopen much of the state on a day when Iowa experienced its highest single-day death total yet, with 12 virus-related deaths and 467 new cases reported.

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