By Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases identified in Iowa increased by 389 on Friday, bringing the state’s total known positive cases to nearly 30,500, state health officials said.

Three more COVID-19 deaths also were reported Friday, bringing the state’s total to 720 since the outbreak began.

Iowa Department of Public Health data indicates positive case numbers had been in decline since early May but began a slow climb again around mid-June. That is about two weeks after Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds reopened bars and restaurants and relaxed other restrictions on large gatherings and social activities.

In Muscatine, Mayor Diana Broderson said she would issue an order requiring residents of the southeastern Iowa city of 23,600 to wear masks. She scheduled a Sunday news conference.

But Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has said mayors don’t have the authority to do issue such orders because they aren’t consistent with a proclamation from Reynolds that does not require the use of face coverings, KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids reported.



Meanwhile, the University of Northern Iowa confirmed Friday that seven student athletes and one staff member tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. It said the students who tested positive attended voluntary workouts at the university, KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported.

The athletics department plans to resume resume voluntary workouts on campus despite the positive cases. The school’s weight room closed for a deep cleaning ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend and is set to reopen on Monday.

State health officials confirmed a second outbreak of the virus at a long-term care facility in Story County, the Ames Tribune reported.

Accura Healthcare of Ames has had three residents and three employees test positive for the virus, said Lisa Toti, the facility’s vice president of strategic and organizational engagement. That follows 12 staff members and nine residents who tested positive for the virus at Bethany Life nursing facility in Story City. Two of those residents died.

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This story has been corrected to show that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iowa is nearly 30,500 instead of nearly 350,000.

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