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Iowa governor announces first 3 COVID-19 cases in state



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Sunday.

All three individuals with COVID-19 recently took a cruise in Egypt before returning home to Johnson County in Iowa. All three of the individuals are recovering at home in isolation.

Iowa health officials said one of the individuals is between 41 and 60 years old. The other two individuals with COVID-19 are between 61 and 80 years old.

The cruise that the three individuals were on ran from Feb. 17 to March 2. The individuals returned home on March 3.

“While these are the first cases, it may not be the last and it’s why Iowans must continue to practice safe habits like hand washing and staying home from work when sick,” Reynolds said.

Health officials will work to determine who the three individuals had contact with since they returned, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati. It wasn’t immediately clear whether people who were in contact with the individuals will have to self quarantine.

Iowa health officials have now tested 37 individuals for COVID-19. Twenty-six tests were negative, and eight tests are still pending results. Those results are expected Monday.

Reynolds said she activated the state emergency operations center to help coordinate the response to the coronavirus outbreak. The center provides for coordination and information sharing among state agencies and other partners.

The virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3,400 globally, although most people who have contracted the virus since December have now recovered.

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