By: - March 11, 2020 2:58 pm

(Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab)

Governor’s office reports 14th Iowa coronavirus case

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office on Wedneday reported a 14th case of coronavirus in the state, just one more than was reported on Tuesday. An additional 21 tests were negative.

The newest case is an adult between 61 and 80 years old from Johnson County, who was part of a group that took an Egyptian cruise. All but one of the positive cases reported in the state so far were associated with that group. A total of 21 Iowans were part of the group and all had been isolating themselves at home.

University of Iowa Hospitals reports COVID-19 patient

Officials at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics reported Wednesday they are currently caring for a patient with COVID-19.  “The patient is in isolation, which means that other patients are kept at a safe distance, and those caring for this individual are properly protected,” the hospital’s statement said.

Hospital officials were aware of the patient’s illness before their arrival at the hospital so the care team had “appropriate measures in place,” the hospital statement said.

Additional visitor restrictions and screening may be put in place to protect patients, staff, trainees and visitors, the hospital statement said.

Iowa’s three state universities will teach online after spring break

Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa notified students Wednesday they will move classes to online instruction during the two weeks after spring break to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.  Classes will be taught over the internet to the extent possible from March 23 to April 3, the three universities announced in statements on their websites.

“We are making this decision proactively to maintain the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and patients and in conjunction with the governor and Board of Regents, State of Iowa,” the statement on the University of Iowa’s website said. 

The universities’ campuses, residence halls and dining halls will remain open.

The Iowa Board of Regents had asked the universities to submit plans for online instruction by March 12.  All three state universities have already suspended international travel programs for students, including study abroad, for at least 30 days.

Iowa attorney general warns about coronavirus scams

Iowans should beware of price gouging and scams related to the COVID-19 virus, Attorney General Tom Miller said in a news release.

“Price gouging is substantially raising prices for needed goods or services,” Miller said. “This is illegal and is something our office will pursue.” 

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ declaration of a state of emergency on Monday triggered the state’s price-gouging rule. Price gouging is defined in state rules as “raising prices unreasonably above the price at which the merchandise or service was sold in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the emergency.” 

The attorney general’s office said it has been in contact with Amazon, “where high prices for hand sanitizer, protective masks and other products have been reported.” The online business said it  “has removed several products and high-priced offers and suspended the accounts of third-party sellers who have engaged in price gouging,” the attorney general’s release states. 

Consumers also should be wary of scammers who prey upon fear over coronavirus in other ways, including selling bogus products and engaging in scams related to phishing, charity solicitations and investment offers, the attorney general’s office said.

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