DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — All Iowa residents who believe they need a coronavirus test can now get one, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday, a day after she announced that more businesses and meeting places could reopen.
Reynolds said the expanded testing is especially important as more Iowans return to work. Iowans who want a test must fill out an assessment at the TestIowa website.
Reynolds on Wednesday announced the opening of movie theaters, museums and zoos as of Friday and said bars can reopen at 50% capacity next week. Restaurants and some other businesses were allowed to reopen last Friday.
Reynolds continued to defend her relaxation of restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus by saying the state is equipped to monitor and contain any virus outbreaks that may occur.
The state, which doesn’t release totals any more but updates cases and deaths in real time, had 19 deaths and 430 new cases from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday.
The virus has been identified in all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties. Nursing homes and communities with meatpacking plants have been hit the hardest.
“We have never said that nobody would ever, that we were going to prevent people from getting COVID-19. That’s unrealistic and unobtainable. What we have to do is learn to live with it and manage the virus. We have to get things back to normal,” she said.
Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo announced that as of June 1 school districts can voluntarily choose to hold summer school activities including drama and robotics programs. She also said high school summer baseball and softball will be allowed to begin with social distancing limits in place.