Reynolds calls on Iowans to do the right thing
Governor Kim Reynolds has introduced two major avenues of help for Iowans in press conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Tuesday, the governor announced the COVID-19 legal information hotline sponsored by Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Association, and the Volunteer Lawyers project. For Iowans seeking help with legal issues relating to COVID-19, the number is 1-800-330-0419.
Wednesday, Governor Reynolds called on Human Services Director Gerd Claybaugh to highlight an existing service in the state: Your Life Iowa. Launched in 2019 by the Iowa Department of public Health under the Division of Behavioral Health, the website offers virtual assistance with mental health and substance abuse issues 24 hours per day, seven days per week to connect Iowans with assistance they may need. Claybaugh gave the numbers for text: 855-995-8398; phone 855-581-8111. The website also has an online chat feature.
Claybaugh said, “We are all in this together.”
Reynolds said Tuesday and repeated Wednesday that upon new data for a particular location, she could place a shelter in place order for a community, county, or region as needed.
Tuesday, Reynolds said, “I can’t lock the state down. I can’t lock everybody in their home. We have to make sure the supply chain is up and going. We have essential workforce that has to be available.”
Reynolds offered good news: as a result of ordering the cessation of all non-emergency dental care, dentists across the state have donated their personal protective equipment to health care organizations for their use during the crisis.
Reynolds said, “We are going to get through this.” Reynolds said the coming weeks, in which the virus cases are expected to spike, will be a period of rough times. Reynolds said she counted on Iowans to do the right thing and that state residents will come out stronger as a result.
Reynolds said she and her team review data each morning and evening, and Thursday she will speak about whether the recommendation to close all schools will continue after the current deadline of April 13.
Reynolds also announced Tuesday that the Iowa Secretary of State will mail every registered Iowa voter an absentee ballot request form ahead of the June 2 primary election.
As of Wednesday, Iowa had 549 cases of COVID-19, nine deaths, 60 counties affected, and 7,304 negative test results. Clay County announced its first COVID-19 case on Tuesday.