First Iowa COVID-19 death confirmed

    STATE -- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) learned Tuesday of the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual was an older adult, 61-80 years of age, and a resident of Dubuque County.
    “Our hearts are heavy with the first loss of an Iowan to COVID-19. The thoughts and prayers of our state are with the family during this difficult time,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
    “I continue to urge all Iowans to protect their health and the health of others, especially older individuals and those with chronic health conditions who are most at risk. We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of this virus.”
    As of Thursday morning, March 26, there were 145 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iowa.  Of those, six were in the western Iowa region surrounding Shelby County, with three in Harrison County, two in Pottawattamie County and one in Carroll County.  There have been a total of 2,578 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.
    In addition, it was reported this week that two employees of a Cedar Rapids nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19.  It is not known at this time how the individuals became infected.  It’s the first report of an Iowa nursing home having possible exposure of its residents.
    A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa is provided by IDPH, updated each morning. 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 or 1-800-244-7431.

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