Nursing Home COVID-19 Outbreaks Exceed Gov. Reynolds Estimate

DES MOINES, Iowa - COVID-19 outbreaks at Iowa nursing homes have exceeded the estimates of Governor Kim Reynolds as of early Friday morning.

Reynolds is directing $14 million in federal CARES Act money to long term care centers experiencing outbreaks during the current statewide surge in cases.

The money will be used to cover the increased cost of COVID-19 testing and staffing at the centers.

The state is reporting outbreaks at 116 nursing homes as of Friday morning, with more than 4,200 positive tests. Governor Reynolds estimated Thursday that 114 nursing homes would report outbreaks later in the day.

Eleven nursing homes currently report more than 50 COVID-19 cases at their facilities, led by Good Shepard Health Center in Cerro Gordo County with 113.

Revised guidelines from the state allow for nursing home staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working if they don't have symptoms, are wearing prop protective equipment and if there's a staffing shortage.

The guidelines let those staff members provide direct care to patients with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.

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