DES MOINES, Iowa (KTTC) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high in Iowa on Tuesday. In a news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said this increase is tied to community spread.
On Wednesday, she pushed back on comments suggesting she isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Do you want to talk about the people that are dying because they’ve delayed care?" Reynolds said. "Do you want to talk about the suicides that have ticked up? Do you want to talk about the kids that aren’t in school? You know, we are doing a lot. And I’m proud of what we’re doing. And do you know what? Any death is one too many. And it's heart-wrenching to see the numbers. But I have to balance a lot.”
As of Tuesday, 444 people were hospitalized in Iowa due to COVID-19. Reynolds emphasized that, in spite of this recent spike, hospitals have not reached capacity.
Reynolds continues to oppose a statewide mask mandate, saying she trusts Iowans to do the right thing. However, she was photographed last weekend not wearing a mask at an indoor Trump campaign event, leading some to argue she isn't taking proper precautions herself.
One photo shows Reynolds standing in a room of about two dozen people, several of whom are also maskless. Reynolds said the event was intended to occur outdoors, but they moved inside for a brief moment because of rain.
“I had the mask when I went in there," Reynolds said. "I take it off when I speak. But, you know, I had it on nearly almost all of the rest of the time."
Reynolds said she wore a mask during the rest of her visits that weekend on the 13-county campaign trip.