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Gov. Reynolds Won’t Release Number of Available Hospital Beds in the State, Says Data Doesn’t Tell Full Story

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DES MOINES, Iowa-- As the number of COVID-19 cases grows the state is determining exactly how many cases hospitals will be able to handle.

Governor Reynolds  has decided not to release the number of available hospital beds in the state. She and health officials say that number doesn't tell the full story.

“The question of how many beds, we do have some of that information but it's not as meaningful as you might think.  It doesn't indicate if those beds are staffable at a particular time or not,” Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director, Sarah Reisetter said. 

The state is continually working with hospitals, healthcare systems and within healthcare coalitions to understand what the capacity is. Governor Reynolds explained that means understanding if they have the workforce and right type of beds depending on a patients' needs. 

The governor also said the main focus right now in Iowa is personal protective equipment.

“Why we're looking for all hands on deck to order directly not only from providers but also through FEMA, we're talking with the Department of Corrections. Every hour we have our team working on solutions to masks and ventilators,” Governor Reynolds said. 

Governor Reynolds is asking Iowans to cancel elective surgeries at private clinics and donate available masks to hospitals.

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