Governor Kim Reynolds says the state is taking steps to expand child care options AND ensure low-income students can get school lunches even as schools in the state are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Sunday, Reynolds recommended that Iowa schools close for four weeks. The USDA has given Iowa a waiver, so Iowa schools can continue to provide meals to low-income students on a “grab and go” basis.
On Monday afternoon, legislative leaders announced they plan to waive the requirement that Iowa schools reschedule cancelled days between now and April 12th. The governor says policymakers will reassess after that, as school officials consider whether summer school may be required or whether members of the Class of 2020 meet the requirements for high school graduation.
It was on Sunday of last week that the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Iowa. The governor announced late Monday afternoon that a 23rd case had been confirmed in a Dallas County resident.
Reynolds says she hopes to get at least two of the “drive through” testing sites set up in Iowa, with priority given to first responders, health care workers and Iowans above the age of 65.
President Trump has urged governors around the country to try to secure more ventilators for hospitals that will be inundated with critical COVID cases. State officials say details about how many ventilators are in the state today is confidential. Reynolds says she’s talked with private companies about getting more here.
Meanwhile, some other governors and big city mayors have ordered the closure of bars and restaurants. Reynolds is not taking that step, but she is encouraging Iowans to avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible.
The governor also urged Iowans not to hoard food or other products. She says inmates in the state’s prison system will start making hand sanitizer.
story courtesy of Radio Iowa