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150 long-term care facilities in Iowa reporting COVID-19 outbreaks

(KTIV) -- Iowa is reporting 150 long-term care facilities across the state are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, and thousands of residents have tested positive for the virus.

As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health says more than 4,600 residents of care centers are infected with the virus. State data shows 1,009 residents of long-term facilities have died with COVID-19 in the past 18 months.

During a news conference Tuesday morning, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds discussed the increase in outbreaks

"We're continuing to look at the number of tests to make sure that all of the facilities have the capacity to test," said Reynolds. "In addition to that, we continue to work with the Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Department of Public Health, CDC and other partners to make sure we are practicing all infectious controls and that they are in place. They are looking at guidance for visitation especially as we move into the holidays."

Right now, Iowa's positivity rate is at 14.7% for the past seven days. While hospitalizations are also down, the governor said it's too early to determine if this is a trend.

Reynolds said Iowans need to be cautious when celebrating Thanksgiving traditions because they saw cases spike during summer holidays because of gatherings.

"If you travel, consider your mode of transportation and be aware of the risk at your destination. While traveling, keep hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and masks with you. Wear a mask and social distance when you're in public and in close proximity to others outside of your household," said Reynolds.

The governor said Iowa could see COVID-19 vaccines coming out in December. Reynolds said the state is ready with a distribution plan.

You can watch Gov. Reynolds' full news conference from Tuesday here.

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Dean Welte

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