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WATCH NOW: Iowa's cases, deaths per capita rise; Reynolds reopens more businesses June 1

WATCH NOW: Iowa's cases, deaths per capita rise; Reynolds reopens more businesses June 1


DES MOINES -- Iowa's governor announced several new categories of businesses allowed to reopen June 1, even as the state continued to see coronavirus cases and deaths per capita outpacing other states.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced restaurants could now seat parties of 10, live music was allowed back in bars, and casinos, sports gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor performance venues, arcades, pool halls and some other businesses would be allowed to reopen with restrictions June 1.

Reynolds cited Iowa's growing testing capacity through Test Iowa, which now has 11 sites statewide and allows anyone to schedule a test, as one of several "encouraging" trends. 

The state has a 13.1% positive test rate, continuing a downward trend. The World Health Organization recommends a positive test rate of 10% or less as an adequate testing rate.

"We gotta look at 14-day trends, three-day trends, hospitalization trends, days to double. All of them are trending downward," she said at Tuesday's briefing. "So that tells us that we can continue to open up."

The Iowa Department of Public Health recorded just 104 cases and eight deaths Tuesday, both continuing downward trends from their peaks.

But Iowa continues to surpass other U.S. states in terms of cases and deaths by population: Iowa moved up from 14th to 13th in the nation Tuesday among all 50 states and the District of Columbia for cases per capita, passing Michigan. It moved up to 21st from 23rd in deaths per capita.

Reynolds said her responsibility was to protect "both the life and livelihood of Iowans," and said those at highest risk should continue to stay home.

"For the most part, all indicators that we're looking at when we're monitoring and looking at trends, it's positive," Reynolds said. "We're gonna get our life back to normal, or some normalcy."

As of Tuesday, 17,887 people in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties have tested positive for coronavirus, or 0.5% of the state’s population. Only Decatur County along the Missouri border has no cases reported.

The state had 464 deaths in 35 counties. Almost 2.6% of Iowans who have tested positive for coronavirus have died, with 88% of those over the age of 61.

The state added one long-term care facility outbreak in Tama County for a total of 37 such outbreaks in 17 counties, amounting to 1,589 cases and 248 deaths among residents and staff.

Louisa County now has had more than 3% of its population test positive for coronavirus.

Four Iowa counties -- Crawford, Marshall, Tama and Woodbury -- have had 2% or more of their population test positive, while another four are over 1%: Black Hawk, Buena Vista, Muscatine and Wapello counties.

Ten counties have had 10 or more COVID-19 deaths: Black Hawk, Dallas, Dubuque, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Tama and Woodbury counties.

The Black Hawk County Health Department reported six more cases Monday and IDPH reported one more death Tuesday for a total of 1,916 cases and 40 deaths. County officials count positive serology tests among their numbers.

The county has four long-term care facility outbreaks: Harmony House added two cases for 91 cases among residents and staff, Friendship Village remained at 47 cases, Pillar of the Cedar Valley remained at 19 cases, and NewAldaya Lifescapes remained at 17 cases.

Tama County was now at 397 cases and 23 deaths. The county has two long-term care outbreaks, including one new one: Sunnycrest Nursing Center now has four cases. Westbrook Acres added six cases over the weekend for a total of 41 cases.

Allamakee County was at 118 cases and four deaths.

Bremer County was at 67 cases and six deaths. Though administrators at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Communities say their outbreak has been over for weeks, the state still classifies the facility as having an active outbreak, with 30 cases.

Buchanan County was at 32 cases. Fayette County was at 26 cases.

Winneshiek County was at 23 cases. Grundy County was at 19 cases.

Floyd County was at 18 cases and one death. Butler County was at 15 cases.

Hardin County was at 13 cases. Howard County was at 12 cases.

Chickasaw and Franklin counties had eight cases each. Mitchell County had four cases.

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