Marcus Branstad self-isolating family after day care closes as a precaution

By: - March 17, 2020 1:45 pm

The Wallace State Office Building is home of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. (Photo by Perry Beeman, Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa state natural resources commissioner Marcus Branstad is staying home with his family after his child’s day care closed to help guard against the spread of coronavirus.

One of the parents of another child at the center works at a hospital where an employee tested positive for COVID-19. No one at the day care had a confirmed case.

In an interview, Branstad said he and his wife were working at home and had decided to keep their child there before the child care center decided to close voluntarily as a precaution.

Branstad is a member of the governor-appointed Iowa Natural Resource Commission, which he informed of the situation Tuesday. His father, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, is U.S. ambassador to China, where the coronavirus outbreak first became widespread. The elder Branstad and his family are well, he told Iowa Capital Dispatch recently.

Marcus Branstad said the self-isolation has given him a whole new respect for child care workers and teachers.

“We are on a self-imposed isolation here in Van Meter,” Branstad told commissioners. “I never knew working from home with two children would be so difficult,” he added with a laugh. “But we are still getting out and walking our timber and looking for shed deer antlers. Hopefully my spring turkey-hunting plans don’t get canceled.”

Added Branstad: “My family that has been in China has been dealing with this for three months. Just a warning to everybody that I think we are heading down that same path.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.