Governor Kim Reynolds says she is not yet ready to recommend Iowa’s K-through-12 school closures be extended due to coronavirus concerns.
Reynolds last week signed legislation that ensures schools are not required to make up any missed days through April 10th. Governors in other states have ordered schools to be closed for a longer period. Wisconsin’s schools, for example, are closed through at least April 24th. Iowa’s governor says it’s just too soon to say whether Iowa students may be returning to class on April 13th.
Reynolds says her education director has assembled a task force to examine how online learning could be implemented statewide and ensure every child has access, but the group has not made any recommendations.
The governor of Minnesota has just issued a “Stay at Home” order and the mayor of Cedar Rapids has sent a letter to Iowa’s governor, urging her to do the same. Reynolds addressed the issued during her daily news conference.
Reynolds says those steps reduce the risk that COVID-19 patients will overwhelm the state’s hospitals.
On Tuesday night, there were 23 patients being treated for COVID-19 in an Iowa hospital. The governor’s spokesman says there are currently 280 ventilators available in the state that are NOT in use and Iowa hospitals are using federal guidelines to convert anesthesia machines into ventilators.