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Gov. Reynolds: 'We now have community spread in our state'

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state's response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, right, looks on. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state's response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, right, looks on. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 14, 2020 at 9:04 PM CDT
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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Saturday night during a press conference that there is community spread of the coronavirus in Iowa. A new confirmed case of the coronavirus was found in Dallas County. The newly infected individual is age 61 to 80 and did not travel to an infected area. This brings the total of infected Iowans to 18.

"We are confident that we now have community spread (the coronavirus) in our state," Reynolds said. "Community spread occurs when individuals have been infected with the virus and public health cannot specifically identify the source of the infection or determine how or where they became infected."

The counties affected include Pottawattamie, Carroll, Harrison, Dallas and Johnson. Nebraska health officials announced a community-spread infection Saturday afternoon.

"Due to the detection of community spread there are new recommendations for individuals with underlying conditions and all Iowans should be prepared for cancellations and disruptions in routine activities," Reynolds said.

Reynolds suggested Iowans not gather in crowds of more than 250 people. She said her office is not suggesting school closures.

On Saturday, the Board of Regents of the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University has requested all students, staff and faculty abroad return to the United States. The Board of Regents is allowing each university president to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

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