DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday the Memorial Day weekend could be the time to “tiptoe” out after weeks of staying home due to the coronavirus, but any outings would come as the state still is seeing hundreds of new cases daily.
Reynolds said the 14-day trend of new positive cases is moving lower and other metrics including hospitalization rates are lower and stable.
“There’s a lot of positive things,” she said, pointing out that although she’s opened businesses and activities “nothing is a mandate. People have to be personally responsible. If they feel comfortable to go out and tiptoe into it, take your face covering if you can’t social distance.”
Despite the optimism, the number of virus deaths has been relatively consistent, with 18 Friday, 19 Thursday and 14 Wednesday. The total stood Friday at 418 deaths.
There were 454 positive cases, boosting the state total to 16,408 as of Friday morning.
Reynolds again noted the overwhelming majority of deaths are among older adults or people with other illnesses. She said 57% of deaths are tied to long-term care facilities.
Reynolds said she's ended a modified 10-day quarantine she began after visiting the White House and meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Iowa. Staffers of both the president and vice president had tested positive for the coronavirus.
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