Reynolds creates task force to address food insecurity as unemployment numbers climb

(The Center Square) – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Friday 118 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths in Iowa related to the new coronavirus.

Two people from Linn County died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the statewide death total to 31.

Reynolds provided the updated numbers Friday morning during a news briefing.

Statewide, 1,388 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Thirty-one COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in Iowa. Cases have been reported in 81 of the state’s 99 counties. As of Thursday night, 119 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, and 506 had recovered.

So far, the recovery rate in Iowa is 36 percent and 14,560 negative tests have been processed, the governor said.

The Iowa Department of Public Health figures include results gathered from testing through Thursday.

“Over the course of the last month, we have implemented significant mitigation strategies aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 across our state, including closing businesses and schools,” Reynolds said. “And while these steps are necessary at this critical time, it’s important not to overlook the unintended consequences that they have on Iowa families. More than 354,000 Iowans are already facing food insecurity and now these families and others may be dealing with the recent loss of jobs, children out of school and trouble making ends meet.”

The governor said she established a task force to address food insecurity as food banks work to keep up with a 65 percent increase in applications for food assistance in March compared with the same month in 2019.

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