Seven positive coronavirus tests in Johnson County, eight total in state, officials say

Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM CDT
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Five more Iowans have tested positive for coronavirus, four of which are in eastern Iowa, according to state health officials.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says that eight Iowans total have tested positive for COVID-19, as of Monday, March 9, 2020. Three of the cases were announced in Johnson County on Sunday, one case in Pottawattamie County and four additional cases in Johnson County were announced on Monday afternoon.

All of the new cases announced on Monday in Johnson County are related to travel on the same Egyptian cruise, according to state officials. The patients are all between 61 to 80 years old, and all are in isolation at their homes.

The case in Pottawattamie County is a patient aged 41 to 60 years old who recently traveled to California. According to county officials, that person works at a Panera Bread location in the county, which is undergoing disinfection procedures.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a statewide disaster proclamation on Monday. This fully activates the state's disaster response and recovery plans, according to the governor's office. State resources are now allowed to perform the "activities necessary to prevent, contain and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus."

32 people have tested negative, and 11 results are pending. 67 people are undergoing monitoring procedures by health officials, but are not showing signs of symptoms.

Reynolds will be holding a press conference at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, for an update on the situation.

Steps that can be taken to help prevent contracting coronavirus are similar to those that help prevent any other infectious disease spread: cover your cough or sneeze using a tissue or directed into your elbow, frequent hand washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and stay home when you feel sick. People should also avoid touching their face, and cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces with disinfectants are recommended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend the use of face masks, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Iowans who have questions about coronavirus may call 2-1-1 to access a hotline available 24 hours a day.