JOINT STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S FAILED COVID STRATEGY FROMSENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER ZACH WAHLS AND HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER TODD PRICHARD
“Governor Reynolds seems shocked that her failed COVID strategy has resulted in thousands of deaths, overcrowded hospitals, unsafe schools, and some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country over the past nine months.
“Her half-measured attempt at a mask mandate will not be enough to make Iowans safer, especially heading into the holiday season. Her actions today are simply too little, too late. Half-measures will only prolong this pandemic and the suffering of Iowans.
“The Governor’s latest plan:
- Fails to protect our most vulnerable in nursing homes.
- Fails to protect the health and safety of educators and students in our schools.
- Fails to expand testing and contact tracing in all 99 counties.
- Fails to help small businesses and other employers hit hard by the pandemic.
“The deadly results of her inaction has turned this pandemic into a public health crisis that has devastated our economy. Here is what the Governor should have announced tonight that include the specific recommendations of the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- An effective mask mandate.
- Proactive and increased testing for teachers, community college students, public sector workers, staff in crowded or congregate settings, all hospital personnel, large private sector employers.
- Expand and renew Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program to provide relief grants to bars, taverns and other establishments impacted by COVID-19.
- Expanded, strategic use of testing in all 99 counties.
- Proactive testing must be part of the mitigation efforts inclusive of mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and immediate isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine.
- Ensure all nursing homes, assisted living, and elderly care sites have full testing capacity and are isolating positive staff and residents.
- Ensure all hospitals, including rural hospitals, have access to antivirals, antibodies, PPE, and ventilators.
- Review testing at universities & ensure appropriate testing and behavior change in the 10 days prior to student departure to hometowns for the holiday season.