Latest White House Report: Iowa has 7th Highest Rate of New COVID-19 Cases

WASHINGTON, DC - The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report on Iowa shows the state in the red zone for new cases with the 7th highest rate in the country.

The report dated Sunday places Iowa in the yellow zone for its positivity rate, 12th highest in the nation.

It says the highest number of new cases are in Polk, Johnson and Story counties, which accounts for almost a third (30.4%) of the new cases.

The new report backs off its previous call for a mask mandate, and instead encourages their usage to slow down the spread and deaths from the virus. "Ensuring mask utilization statewide will prevent unnecessary transmission and deaths in vulnerable communities," the report reads.

It further calls for universities to dramatically increase testing to quickly find and quarantine on-campus case. It calls on the University of Iowa to follow the example of the University of Arizona in transparently tracking COVID cases. Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University publish online updates three times a week, while the University of Arizona updates its web page daily.

The White House report shows 23 counties in the red zone for COVID-19 cases. The state reports 11 counties with a 14-day positivity rate of 15 percent or more.

Three of the four counties with highest positivity rate are in northwest Iowa – Sioux, Lyon and Osceola counties. Sioux County’s rate is nearly 30 percent.

Governor Kim Reynolds acknowledged the high numbers in the counties at a Tuesday press conference in Des Moines. She said the state is investigating the cause of the spike.

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