Kate Payne

Reporter

Kate Payne is an Iowa City-based reporter and a co-host of Iowa Public Radio's podcast Caucus Land. Kate has won Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her feature reporting and her sound editing. Her political reporting has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and The NPR Politics Podcast. She's been a guest on MSNBC, CBSN, KQED, WGBH, CapRadio, WYPR and New Hampshire Public Radio.

She is a proud North Florida native and a dyed-in-the-wool hand talker.

Send tips, recipes and road trip ideas to kpayne@iowapublicradio.org.

Kate's favorite public radio program is Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

trump supporters
Katarina Sostaric / IPR File

The congressional district thought to be Iowa’s most reliably Democratic is seeing its largest Republican primary field in years. That’s after longtime Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack announced his retirement from the 2nd District. Ahead of the June 2 primary, candidates are sparring over conservative credentials as they vie for the open seat in southeast Iowa.

Michael Leland / Iowa Public Radio

The state has allowed more Iowa businesses, organizations and parks to reopen. Iowans continue to adapt to the new normal, acknowledging that coronavirus is here with us, and resuming more community activities. 

Continue to follow the latest Iowa coronavirus news here, where we're posting news updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds, other state agencies, counties and businesses for the week of May 24-May 30.

Madeleine King / IPR File

In many Iowa counties, businesses and organizations are now deciding when and how to reopen. Summer festivals and events organizations are making decisions around whether or how they will operate, and Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced that she is "shifting focus" of Iowa's coronavirus response.

Follow the latest Iowa coronavirus news here, where we're posting news updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds, other state agencies, counties and businesses for the week of May 17-May 23.

Evelien Noens via flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

As Gov. Kim Reynolds continues to reopen parts of the state’s economy, she’s touting Iowa’s resources for coronavirus testing. But among those still struggling to get tested are dentists, who were able to start reopening their practices as of last week.

martin/ x1klima / Flickr

The Iowa Department of Corrections is drastically limiting how many new incarcerated individuals are entering the prison system, due to the continued spread of the new coronavirus within some prison facilities. IDOC is urging county sheriffs to continue holding Iowans who would otherwise start their prison sentence. In the meantime, that’s leading to a backup in some local jails.

Courtesy of Oxfam America

Black Hawk County officials say more than a thousand employees of the Tyson plant in Waterloo have tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s more than double the total that state officials reported earlier this week. The announcement comes the same day the company resumed limited operations at its pork plant in Waterloo, which was idled for two weeks following public outcry.

Kenny Lab at Kabara Cancer Research Institute / http://kennylab.org/covid19.html

Analyzing the genetic code of the new coronavirus is giving researchers a new way to track the virus, as it spreads and mutates over time. The approach can help fill in the gaps of traditional “boots on the ground” epidemiology, which relies on case investigation and contact tracing.

Michael Leland

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed, although the state did 'reopen' 77 Iowa counties on May 1. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of May 3-May 9.

kim reynolds
John Pemble/IPR file

The $26 million that Iowans are paying for the Test Iowa program administered by Nomi Health does not include the cost of staffing the coronavirus testing sites. The state has separate contracts with local hospitals to administer the coronavirus tests, a spokesman for Gov. Kim Reynolds confirmed to IPR.

Madeleine King/IPR file

As Gov. Kim Reynolds takes steps to re-open parts of the state, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Black Hawk County continue to spike. Local public health officials said that as of Monday, the county had 1,346* documented cases, accounting for more an a fifth of Iowa’s total cases.

Amy O'Shaughnessy / IPR

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 26 - May 2.

martin/ x1klima / Flickr

Incarcerated Iowans are voicing fears that the new coronavirus may “run like a wildfire” through the state’s correctional facilities. Statements from individuals currently held in Iowa prisons that were shared with Iowa Public Radio raise concerns about the Iowa Department of Correction’s ability to control the spread of the virus, at a time when confirmed case numbers are ticking up and testing remains limited. Some Iowans serving time warn that widespread outbreaks of the disease could lead to “panicking” and a critical breakdown in the “social adhesive” that makes life behind bars possible.

Grant Gerlock / IPR file

The Black Hawk County Board of Health is formally calling for the temporary closure of the Tyson meat processing plant in Waterloo. Local public health officials say an outbreak at the facility has led to soaring increases in cases of the new coronavirus. At an emergency meeting Tuesday, board members approved a resolution, saying that current conditions “will exacerbate — rapidly — the infection of its employees, their households, and the communities in which they reside." The board is urging the company and Gov. Kim Reynolds to take action to protect Tyson workers.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday she will not order the Tyson hog processing facility in Waterloo to close, after some Democratic state lawmakers called for a temporary shutdown to protect workers from becoming infected with COVID-19. 

As of Monday, the state has confirmed two outbreaks in meat processing facilities: the National Beef-owned plant in Tama, and the Tyson plant in Columbus Junction that have affected hundreds of workers. State officials have said they consider more than 10 percent of employees at a business showing COVID-19 symptoms to be an outbreak. 

Michael Leland / IPR

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 19-25.

Courtesy of Oxfam America

For years, refugees who have survived political persecution, hunger and war in Latin America, Southeast Asia and East and Central Africa have come to Iowa to build a new life. After raising their children in camps, some have been able to buy homes and climb their way into the American middle class, a college education for their kids no longer an unthinkable fantasy. For many, this became possible because of the steady work and the higher than minimum wages at the state’s meat processing plants and manufacturing facilities. Now some of those places are becoming hotspots of COVID-19, as the highly contagious virus tears through production lines where advocates say stringent social distancing is not possible.

Madeleine King/IPR file

The new coronavirus is now spreading faster in Louisa County than anywhere else in Iowa. Cases have increased exponentially in the rural community, following reports that workers at a local meat processing plant tested positive. The outbreak is laying bare the complexities of providing care in rural communities; the county is home to many foreign-born residents and has no hospital.

pxfuel

Iowa officials said Tuesday six long-term care facilities are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, which the Iowa Department of Public Health defines as three or more residents testing positive for the new coronavirus.

The state reported 202 positive cases across the six facilities as of Tuesday.

Lindsey Moon / IPR

The largest hospital in the state is drastically cutting back on visitors starting Wednesday, as part of efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the new coronavirus. Officials at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have called the step unprecedented but necessary.

Jamelah E. via flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The Cedar Rapids nursing home where more than 100 residents and staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 has a history of not meeting federal standards for infection control and prevention. An Iowa Public Radio analysis shows state inspectors found a pattern of issues at Heritage Specialty Care dating back more than a decade. One expert told IPR the reports show the facility wasn’t adequately prepared for the new coronavirus.

Lindsey Moon / IPR

Worshippers across the state are adjusting their religious practices to find new ways to take comfort in familiar rituals, due to the new coronavirus. As places of worship remain shuttered Iowans are celebrating their faith from the safety of their homes, or their cars.

Lindsey Moon / IPR File

Iowa schools and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 12-18. 

Courtesy of Steve Reno

Some older Iowans who spend part of the year in Florida are having to decide where they’ll be safer from the new coronavirus. Now’s the time when many are choosing whether to come back to Iowa or ride out the crisis where they are.

Brian Powers / The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool

Iowa businesses, school districts and citizens continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. We'll be posting updates as more news regarding the spread of the virus in Iowa becomes available here for the week of April 5-11. 

Univeristy of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics sign
Jon Farvel / Flickr

A clinical trial is now underway at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to test an experimental drug to treat COVID-19. Some previous laboratory tests of the anti-viral drug remdesivir have been promising, but its safety and efficacy in clinical settings is still unproven.

Penn State via Flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Refugee and immigrant-led organizations in Iowa are banding together to provide information on COVID-19 in ten different languages. The resources include public health information and advice on how to cope with our new reality in the age of coronavirus.

University of Iowa
University of Iowa

Classes are back in session at Iowa colleges and universities this week. But in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, classes are being held online. The process of going virtual is presenting challenges for students and faculty at the University of Iowa.

Brian Powers / The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool

Iowa businesses, school districts and citizens continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. We'll be posting updates as more news regarding the spread of the virus in Iowa becomes available here for the week of March 29-April 4. 

doctors office
Jennifer Morrow / flickr

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics can now run its own COVID-19 testing in-house. Hospital officials say the step will help free up other testing resources across the state, which are integral to responding to the disease. Public health officials say testing is critically needed in order to gauge the disease’s spread and respond to it, and the development comes as the country faces a nationwide shortage of testing supplies.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The Iowa Department of Public Health is directing essential employees to keep working, even if they have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. The recommendations come as the number of confirmed cases in the state continues to increase and as officials scramble to secure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment or PPE.

Pages