tv Iowa Gov. Reynolds Hold Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN December 17, 2020 3:21am-3:58am EST
work also possible members on a spending package that funds the government through next year. that is on c-span. on c-span two, the senates returns to work on judicial nominations. at 9:00 a.m. on c-span3, the fda meets in open session to consider emergency authorization for moderna's vaccine. >> use your mobile devices and go to our website for the latest video to follow the transition of power. news conferences and event coverage at c-span.org. governor of iowa gave an update on her states plan to
approximately 500 health-care workers have received the vaccine. today, i am so pleased to be joined by an emergency medical physician and director of the emergency department. been caringeam have for covid-19 patients since the start of the pandemic. yesterday, he received the vaccine. i want him to share what his thoughts are. thank you for being here. he cannot hear me. we will turn it over to you.
received one of the first doses of the vaccine. along with other doctors and nurses. i am not experiencing negative effects. this is a day we have been looking forward to for months. i have been asked how i feel. i feel grateful. grateful to be amongst the first vaccinated. whoeful for the scientists developed an amazingly effective vaccine. grateful to have hope this will be the beginning of the end of the pandemic. and an eventual return to normal. willof my fellow islands pursue vaccinations when they become available. this is healthy. modern medicine has advanced to where it is.
my request is see you ask your health care provider for information so you can learn more. although this is an exciting time and we can see much promise, we should not let our guard down. by stayingur part home when sick, wearing a mask, and social distancing. these simple steps are highly effective. i want to encourage people to get the vaccine when it becomes available. family, friends, and community will all benefit. the more we are vaccinated, the more effective we will be in slowing the spread. this can be an effective way of bringing covid-19 never control. thank you for giving me this chance today. >> thank you. i appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. i want to thank you and your colleagues for your service to the state throughout the last
several months. i know it has not been easy. we owe you a debt of gratitude for continuing to care for those in need no matter the circumstances. we appreciate you being part of this press conference today. we have been anxiously awaiting a vaccine, knowing it would mark the most significant turning point in this pandemic. it is finally here and with it comes the hope that life will truly return to normal. we must continue to be patient thea few more months, as supply increases along with the number of people receiving it. that is a critical component of the success. a couple of weeks ago, a doctor
who was directly involved in the clinical trial joined my press conference and spoke about his confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. normal that people will have many questions about a new vaccine. the department of public health will be providing regular information. can keep up-to-date with the latest information as it becomes available. we will also begin reporting the number of people who have been vaccinated. are working to create a new dashboard that will report our progress. in the meantime, we will provide updates as they are available. the more you know, the more confident you will be making decisions. iwant people to know that
plan to be vaccinated after health-care workers and long-term care residents and staff. exactly when that will occur will depend on prioritization for the next phase. we will speak about that in a little bit. my decision to wait is not based on any hesitancy against the vaccine. wantg this first phase, i to make sure that those on the and long-term care residents who are at risk are vaccinated first. i am confident that the vaccine is safe and effective. being forward to vaccinated as soon the supply increases. i will let you know exactly when that will be. in the meantime, i will continue to follow public health guidance to protect ourselves from the .irus covid-19 is not over simply because the vaccine is here and
beginning to be administered. but the finish line is finally in sight. be a marathon,ll not a sprint. we need to pace ourselves. that still holds true today. a few short months from now, things could look remarkably different than they have nearly a year. our efforts to operationalize vaccines across the state is unlike anything we have ever done, and it's happening while we still continue to manage our overall covid-19 response. the coordination and collaboration occurring at all levels from local public health departments to regional health providers to our federal partners is truly unprecedented. last week, kelly garcia, the director of the department of
health and human services and public health, provided a closer overall vaccine strategy for the state. she is here to provide an update on the work they've been doing since their first meeting last week. >> good morning. thank you, governor. we are poised to move quickly to protect ireland's from covid-19. as the governor mentioned, now that iowans are starting to get vaccinated, we are committed to sharing progress and publicly reporting on our state's progress. as we likely will have another vaccine available soon, advisors will meet tomorrow, and we anticipate things will move along a similar path as to what we saw this last weekend with pfizer's approval.
a flurry of activity will occur over the weekend and if things go as planned, we could start seeing moderna in this state monday. this is great news, but i want to caution we are still in the early stages where supply is limited, and understandably, iowans want to know what we expect next and who will follow the priority group of health-care workers and long-term care residents. last week, we announced the infectious disease advisory council, a group working to develop vaccine distribution guidance and prioritization of populations early in the vaccine response. this group brings together clinical and ethical expertise from across the state, including university leadership, infectious disease specialist, local public health agencies, providers that represent vulnerable populations. i'm pleased to report the group has met twice and had thoughtful
and meaningful conversations. from their first two meetings, the council discussed sub prioritization for populations in phase 1a. in these settings, all clinical staff do not have the same risk of exposure. the council discussed within those first groups rules including those on clinical rotation, students, and other nonclinical staff who are equally important to delivering care. dac is finalizing recommendations. when they meet, they will begin prioritization for phase 1b, for those who work in settings like school, food supply, corrections. you can see these are very difficult decisions. the next part will be focused on work settings, and i'm tremendously thankful to idac
members for taking these conversations had on, bringing their expertise to the decision-making process because these decisions cannot be made rightly or easily. i'm confident we have the right people at the table for this challenging effort. to assist, we are reaching out to advocates, stakeholders, and employers throughout the state for written input. the council will use this to inform and guide discussions. as the vaccine becomes more broadly available, it is important for each of us to be thinking about when we will take the vaccine. i do not have a date set yet, though i can share that residence and frontline staff at our resource centers and mental health institutes will receive the vaccine first. this will be quickly followed by prioritization of our social workers who have remained on the front lines throughout this
emergency response, continuing withep in person contact the families they serve. i feel components in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine and believe it is key to turning the tide of the pandemic. while planning for the logistics has been an effort unlike anything i've ever seen in my career, we know communication will be critical to this next phase. while we work on a robust communications plan to encourage iowans to get vaccinated, this will focus on sharing facts and information to ensure iowans no the vaccine is safe and effective. we are focused on instilling in iowans the confidence i have and that our medical and scientific teams have around this vaccine. it is safe and works. we will also provide regular updates on progress to iowa and work to communicate with populations including non-english speakers and refugee
communities. as i said, this communication effort will be a critical part of our response. with all of that, i would be remiss if i did not ask islands to maintain significant progress on the vaccine front. we have to keep up our fight around using simple public health measures -- wash your hands, socially distance, stay at home if you are sick, and wear a mask. >> thank you, kelly. i, too, want to acknowledge the many people working around the clock to make this all possible. this is a team effort, and again, the size and scope of which we have never experienced i'm extremely proud of and grateful for everyone who is part of this team. thank you for what you are doing for your state and your health. it is truly incredible.
for our covid update today, while vaccinations are certainly the big headline this week, there's even more good news regarding the status of covid-19 here in iowa. while cases remain high across the country, we continue to see an overall decline since mid-november and even further stabilization over the past week. in fact, the cdc reports that iowa now ranks 35th in the nation for the number of new cases in the last seven days and 36 four average daily cases per 100,000 population. iowa's statewide average positivity rate over the last 14 and 10.4% over8% the last seven days. at a county level, the seven-day positivity trend paints a positive picture. only one county is at 20%. 12 are between 15% and 20%. 44 counties are between 10% and
15%, and 42 are below 10%. our hospitals remain stable, and the number of iowans hospitalized continues to decline. hospitalizations are half of what they were in november when the number of iowans hospitalized with covid-19 peake d at more than 1500. as i mentioned last week, the state has secured nurses from across the country to provide additional staffing for iowa hospitals through december 30. effective yesterday, all 104 nurses have reported for duty at their assigned locations. additional resources for contact tracing are now assisting the state with case investigations our 99 counties. i'm pleased to report the team is officially caught up with the calls to iowans recently
diagnosed with covid-19, and during the recent surge in new cases, calls were delayed by several days because of the high volume that we were experiencing , and with the official resources now in place, the team is also able to expand the scope of case investigations beyond households again. eight semi loads left the state's central warehouse filled with ppe for approximately 430 long-term care facilities. deliveries have been made to the region, and gowns, gloves, and masks have already arrived in some counties for distribution. we have made tremendous progress over the last several weeks in large part due to iowans adjusting their behavior and we are seeing the positive impact it has had. this does not mean our work is done, but it proves we have the
tools necessary to effectively manage the virus while balancing the activities of our daily lives. we have now seen firsthand how serious the consequences can be when we do not strike that balance. as i mentioned earlier, the virus is still circulating in our communities across the state, but if we continue to control the things we can control and do our part to prevent another surge, there's no reason we cannot effectively live with covid-19 and little longer. as i've said for many months, our response to the pandemic and protect both the lives livelihoods of islands, and we each have a personal responsibility to contribute to that collective goal. the stakes are high. we want life to go back to normal. we want to keep businesses open, and we want our children back in the classroom, and we want to have and ensure that we have a strong health care system that is there when we need it, regardless of the circumstances.
all of this is possible, and it is up to each of us to make it happen, so today, i am making some adjustments to the proclamation of disaster emergency which are effective tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. through january 8. these changes reduce some of the restrictions on businesses, but continue to require safe and responsible behaviors in andyday behaviors interactions. bars and restaurants can resume normal hours of operation, but patrons must still be seated when eating or drinking, limited ,o eight per group or household distanced six feet from other groups, and masks are required when individuals are not seated. spectators at high school, youth, or adult sporting, recreation, or extracurricular
events will be slightly expanded to include the member of a participant's household. gatherings on occasion will be betweenbut six feet individuals in attendance is required. this holiday season, i encourage you to celebrate but celebrate responsibly. we saw the benefit that adjusting our traditions over thanksgiving had. i have heard from many friends and fellow ioan's who found smaller gatherings maybe a little more enjoyable and much less stressful. continue to be mindful. we know it is easy for us to let our guard down when we are gathering with family members and friends, and that is exactly why these types of gatherings tend to be where we see the virus spread. we have seen the positive effects that gathering in small groups can have, so please keep that in mind throughout the holiday season. it won't be long now before the vaccine becomes more widely
available and life truly is back to normal and it will be worth the wait. in closing, i want to announce the holiday hours for the state-operated test iowa locations. in des moines, devonport, cedar rapids, waterloo, and council bluffs. we will be following a schedule similar to thanksgiving. sites will be open on christmas eve and new year's eve, but the location will close early at 2:00 p.m. on those days to allow samples to be transported to the state's hygienic labs for processing. all of these sites will close at 4:00 p.m. as usual, and tests will be processed throughout the night so results can be reported in a timely manner. labs will be close for christmas day and new year's day. the lab will reopen on each of the following saturdays to continue processing samples
through the weekend and all test sites will reopen the following monday as usual at 8:00 a.m. with that, i will go ahead and take your questions. >> you talk a little bit about the logic of putting the number of people vaccinated on the website. that to encourage others? governor kelly: as director garcia indicated, we are going to do a communication outreach, a significant effort in that manner. all along, we have done our best to try to keep iowans updated as we move through the pandemic, so this would just be another way that we would continue to inform iowans of the process and progress we are seeing as islands become vaccinated. eventually, we will continue to
have more information and post it on the website, but until that point, we will try to often update islands with the progress we are seeing and the number of individuals that have been vaccinated. this morning, when i indicated the number of health care workers to date that had been vaccinated, i think it was 503 yesterday, and those numbers will continue to grow, and our health care workers, and then we start to disseminate to long-term care facilities and residents and staff, but we will continue to do our best to encourage iowans to get vaccinated. it is safe, it's the responsible thing to do, and it is how we start to get life back to normal, so we will have a concerted effort to encourage ireland's dude just that. >> does your proclamation continue the mask requirement? >> yes. i think it is all of the mitigations together.
it is staying home when you are sick, washing your hands often, social distancing, being aware of your surroundings and inking about who you are gathering with. it is wearing a mask. all of those efforts i think have played a role in us seeing our numbers and the trends we in hospitalization to total number of cases to all of that. i don't think you could ever point to just one aspect and say that's the reason why, and it has changed throughout the pandemic where we were able to see young people gathering in bars, when they went back to school, we saw a tremendous spike. we were able through case investigation to trace that back to the gatherings in some of the bars in that age range. that is why we made the decisions we made at that point, and we saw the numbers spike, and we saw the numbers come back down, so we will continue to assess the situation and make decisions accordingly.
the idacu explain why council has not been complying with open meetings laws? is there a reason why it does not fit under the open meeting clause? >> there's a couple of different reasons. first and foremost is that we have been working hard to balance transparency, but we are having a free flow of conversations. you can imagine the type of conversation the group is having together on prioritization, these are difficult. they are challenging. the council does not meet the definition of what is required under the open meeting packed, but these recommendations ultimately come to me, and i present them to the governor, so i need their to be a free-flowing dialogue. to strike that balance, we will make sure the minutes are posted and the recommendations made public, but i want the clinicians and other experts to be able to ask questions of each other without additional put --
additional criticism of what those might be. it will provide the healthiest recommendations. >> do you know what exception it would meet under the laws? >> it is under section 21. i'm happy to provide that to you. >> thank you. >> is a number of things, not just masks, not just any sort of other restrictions, but you are taking a key one away with the gathering limitations. i'm curious what went into that decision, especially when we are getting into the holidays, people are going home to see friends and family -- couldn't that just drive up the numbers we see? >> as i indicated, i think islands have stepped up and have done the right thing, and i believe they will continue to make the right decision. we are so close to the end of this, and i think they know that. they see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and they recognize the fact that they just need to hang on a little bit longer. again, i believe we struck the
right balance, and it is the right thing to do. we continue to monitor it. i think islands demonstrated they have seen the numbers and the impact on our hospitalizations and if the we willincrease, then dial back up. as the governor of the state of iowa, i have to find that balance to protect the life and livelihoods. we are seeing devastating statistics with kids that are not in school. we are seeing increase in suicide, domestic abuse cases, so there's always that side of it. we see business owners that have seen their businesses have to close because they cannot make it due to the pandemic. it is just a balance of all of that, but again, i think we have shown islands that it can work, by doing the right thing. i think people are aware of who they are gathering with, who has tested positive, who is
quarantining and what that looks like. i'm just saying, sometimes we let our guard down when we are with family and when we are with friends, so think about that, and if you cannot social distance, then put a mask on, maybe notthink about getting together until later. >> is there concern that the vaccine will instill some false sense of hope? >> it is in light of the fact that we have new therapeutics every sigel day. ,ot only do we have regeneron but we have another therapeutic and those are the steps to help relieve the impact of your hospitals are seeing. ask your clinician about the opportunity to receive an infusion because they have supplies, and that can help keep people out of the hospital. it has to do with the fact the fda just approved today a home
covid-19 test, so every day, we have new options coming on board that can help us really address covid-19 and the pandemic until we have the opportunity to make sure that everybody that wants a vaccine gets a vaccine. it is part of all of that. we will continue to watch it, and if we see it trending in the wrong direction, we will adjust accordingly. you have a timeline or when you expect to make those phase 3 recommendations? a1 they are still working on right now. they are ready to get started on 1b. they are close. this week, kelly? next week.
>> next week is when they start the discussions but will not necessarily have the recommendations? >> we will not even have the vaccines available for a while. >> with moderna potentially arriving next week, how do you decide who gets which of those vaccines and where they go if we end up having both of those coming? >> one of the advantages of the madrona vaccine, and i will turn it over to kelly because that gets outside my lane a little bit, is it does not require such cold storage, so that does affect our ability to disseminate to long-term care facilities, so that brings an additional advantage, helping distribute to all four corners of the state, so that is the advantage of that. that pfizer vaccine requires that ultracold storage and just has some other issues that are a little bit problematic, but we are working with them. anything else you want to add?
mentioned,overnor there are some operational considerations to take into account that are somewhat significant. is i thinktorage primary. the number of vials in a package -- it's 975 in the pfizer distribution. we have been advised by pfizer to not break that up, so you need to send it to a facility that can take on that number and use it to make sure it is getting to as many people as possible. termll engage in the long care pharmacy partnership, which we talked about last week and provided additional information on, and those national pharmacy chains are equipped to handle the cold storage as well as the sheer number of doses. withrk in consultation local health authorities, so our local public health partners are deciding exactly where that
vaccine goes within the parameters set by both our , where partners and idac it goes in each community. >> it's my understanding that the cares act money must be spent by the end of the year. how are you spending the $21 million? >> we have a plan to be able to do that, so we will be able to do that. it has to be allocated, not spent, by the end of the year. i am cautiously optimistic. it is our understanding that negotiations are continuing forward at the federal level, and we hope as part of that negotiation that they will extend past december 30 our ability to allocate the cares dollars, and that will allow us to do it in a more efficient and effective manner. some of the money, for instance, that we allocated, they just could not get the supplies in. they were not able to execute in
the time that they needed to, so fromd some leftover funds the broadband allocation that we could circle back and possibly make available, which is so important. that they caning find some consensus this week because we have a timeline. we are looking at some different options that we would be able to get that allocated in a timely manner. c-span's "washington journal" takes your calls live on the air every day on the day's news and policy issues that impact you. coming up, former virginia republican congressman tom davis on how congress can work with
the incoming biden administration. then ceo ellen miller talks about his recent op-ed where he gives recommendations on how to combat misinformation that creates alternative realities for some americans. watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern this morning and be sure to startinghor's week .unday at 8:00 a.m. eastern >> coming up live on thursday,
the house returns at noon eastern for general speeches. at 2:00 p.m., they debate nine bills including legislation re-designating jimmy carter national historic site as a historic part. it's also possible members work on a spending passage -- package that funds the government through next year if an agreement is reached among lawmakers. that is on c-span. on c-span2, the senate returns to work on judicial nominations with the u.s. district court in tennessee and the district court of federal claims. at 9:00 a.m. on c-span3, the food and drug administration meets in open session to consider authorization for moderna's covid vaccine. next, a hearing on u.s. policy toward refugees from hong kong. the senate judiciary subcommittee on border security and immigration heard about recent legislation that would give refugee status to hong kong residents who have been targeted by the chinese communist party for protesting. witnesses ine