Governor Kim Reynolds says the state has contacted all 21 Iowans who went on a cruise in Egypt a few weeks ago, after seven of them tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
She says the 14 others who went on the cruise are self-isolated, and ten of them are awaiting test results.
And Reynolds says 18 Iowans returning from a different cruise ship on which COVID-19 was detected will be screened before and after taking a chartered flight back to the state.
“The reality is COVID-19 is now here, and we can expect the number of tests and the number of positive cases will continue to increase in the days to come."
The state’s latest public numbers show eight cases of COVID-19. Seven are in Johnson County and one is in Pottawattamie County. State officials say people should stay home if they’re sick, and older adults with other medical conditions should be especially careful to limit potential exposure.
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 is rippling through the economy, with stock markets seeing large drops. the federal government preparing for a fiscal emergency.
President Trump has said he’s looking into payroll tax cuts and other possible measures to reduce the impact on employees if they’re told to stay home. And Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says his Finance Committee is looking at what it could do. He says the conversation is only just beginning and fluctuations in the stock market alone wouldn’t prompt action. But a broader grim picture might.
Grassley says the Senate can adjust taxes. Other responses could include a stimulus package from the House or the Federal Reserve Bank choosing to lower the interest rate again. I’m Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio News.