Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityGov. Kim Reynolds announces changes to reporting COVID-10 recoveries on state website | KGAN
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Gov. Kim Reynolds announces changes to reporting COVID-10 recoveries on state website

Tracking COVID-19 across Iowa{p}{/p}
Tracking COVID-19 across Iowa

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The state is recording Iowans as "recovered" from the coronavirus after 28 days, a new reporting protocol that makes the data more accurate, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, tallied on a state website for coronavirus, showed 5,324 new "recoveries" during the time between 10:00 a.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday— an apparent 30% increase overnight. But Reynolds said during a Tuesday news conference in Steamboat Rock that the surge was due to changes in reporting protocols.

Starting this week, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iowa will now be considered "recovered" 28 days, or two incubation periods, after someone is confirmed positive unless the public health officials are told otherwise, like if a patient is hospitalized. The governor said the change comes as contact tracers following up on confirmed cases aren't hearing back from people that have tested positive for the virus. Previously, case investigators would give a follow-up call to someone with a confirmed infection after 10 days, but many of those calls go unanswered, Reynolds said.

"Then they’re not counted in the number of Iowans recovered, so it’s not really representing the accurate number of Iowans who have been recovered," Reynolds said. As of Tuesday morning's announcement, 80% of the state's 29,000 confirmed infections were deemed "recovered."

The state data shows an increase of 213 confirmed cases of the virus from same 24-hour time frame Monday to Tuesday. Five more deaths are also being reported over that 24-hour stretch, bringing the total deaths to 712.

There are now 28,941 total cases confirmed in Iowa with more than 300,000 tested. The positivity rate is 9.53%.

Reynolds has touted increased testing as a way to control the virus and a tool for reopening, but a new expert analysis shows Iowa's testing capacity falls short of what's needed to successfully mitigate and suppress the virus' spread.

The Harvard Global Health Institute evaluated each state's testing apparatus for NPR. In Iowa, researchers determined the outbreak here is "significant" relative to the state's population and that the state is not meeting testing targets necessary.

Other states are seeing surges in infections that are endangering health care systems and forcing closing businesses again in an effort to contain the spread. When asked by KGAN-TV on Tuesday if the plan as a plan in place to deal with a similar spike should Iowa see one — and if that includes shutting down parts of the economy again — Reynolds cited declining hospitalization rates and deaths as signs that Iowa is not on the similar path as these states in crisis.

“We’re not seeing things happening like what's happening in Florida, Texas and Arizona," Reynolds said. "I’m seeing my positivity rate go down, I’m seeing my hospitalizations go down," noting at a peak 417 were hospitalized and now it's at 133.

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Full IDPH data can be found at the state's COVID-19 website.

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