DES MOINES, Iowa (KTTC) - Iowa announced 85 more cases of coronavirus Friday afternoon.
"Iowans are also watching news coverage about the healthcare surge in other states and they want reassurance that our hospitals are ready and equipped as Iowa's cases are rising," said Gov. Reynolds.
While Iowa hospitals prepare for the worst, many are saying the state should do more.
"I just listed through a list of incremental steps we have taken since we first found out about the first three positive cases on March 8th," said Reynolds at Friday's briefing.
School and non-essential businesses have been closed. However, unlike in Minnesota, there is no stay at home order in Iowa, one of the few states without one.
"If you did a side by side comparison about what we're doing in Iowa and what other states are doing, they are much the same," said Reynolds. "This has become a divisive issue at a time when we must be united in our response to this crisis."
She also says forcing people to stay home could lead to other problems.
"Suicides and domestic abuse," the governor cited. "There are a lot of downsides to it as well."
The website UnaCast tracks cell phone data and grades states on how well residents are maintaining social distancing guidelines. Iowa got a D minus.
Reynolds says her state has just as many if not more essential workers than other places.
"It's probably like 80 to 81 percent when you think about the food production we have going on in this state," the governor stated.
She also made it a point to remind everyone several times that most people should be staying at home if possible and social distancing when out.
"Take advantage of these nice days of spring. Get some exercise," advises Reynolds. "Take care of yourself."
Iowa's total of cornonavirus cases is now up to 699, 11 of those fatal, putting the fatality rate between 1 and 2 percent.
Governor Reynolds also said she plans to stay flexible with her decision making and could still place Iowa under a stay at home order.