Natalie Krebs

Health Reporter

Natalie Krebs is the health reporter for Iowa Public Radio.

Natalie joined Iowa Public Radio in May 2019. She previously worked as an independent producer in west Texas covering everything from immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border to environmental issues in the Permian Basin.

Natalie is a native Minnesotan. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Natalie’s favorite public radio program is The World.

Ways to Connect

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. 

COVID map
Iowa Department of Public Health

Gov. Kim Reynolds and public health officials this week described their six-region point system to guide their decisions about COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

Hush Naidoo / Unsplash

The Iowa Board of Medicine voted unanimously at an emergency meeting Friday to call on Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a formal shelter-in-place order.

At least thirty-eight other states already have an order that requires people to only leave their home if necessary.

Lindsey Reed / Oaknoll Retirement Residence

Iowa has more than 400 assisted living facilities. And right now they’re under tight restrictions to try to keep COVID-19 away from their vulnerable residents. But this has left many facing a lot of pressure to keep residents safe -- and occupied. 

mike randol
John Pemble / IPR File

A federal government report has found Iowa’s Medicaid program didn’t fully comply with state and federal requirements for reporting serious injuries and even the deaths of developmentally disabled Iowans.

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. 

Lindsey Moon / IPR File

Iowa now has over 120 confirmed cases of COVID-19 spread across more than two dozen counties with numbers increasing every day, and across the state, hospitals are preparing for a possible influx of patients.

Kyle Glenn / Unsplash

Advocates who work with the state’s refugee and immigrant population say the group has faced some additional challenges as more COVID-19 cases are confirmed in the state.

Aw Creative / Unsplash

Iowa is now up to 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Gov. Kim Reynolds has now gone a step further in her disaster proclamation and has ordered salons, spas and tattoo parlors to close until March 31.

In a press conference Sunday she also brought up some childcare mitigation requirements. Morning Edition host Clay Masters talks with IPR health reporter Natalie Krebs about the governor's latest recommendations during this interview.

John Pemble / IPR File

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 22-28.

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state is working to get more tests for COVID-19.

At a press conference Thursday, Reynolds said the state hygienic lab has been able to keep up with the number of tests it receives, but is working with the federal government to get more.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Iowa businesses, school districts and citizens continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. Updates and news regarding the spread of the virus in Iowa for the week of March 15-21 are available here. 

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds held a press conference at the State Operations Emergency Center in Johnston Monday to discuss her recommendation to close school for four weeks and other measures the state is taking in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here is what we know about school closures. 


mike randol
John Pemble / IPR File

Department of Human Services officials told lawmakers Wednesday that it doesn’t plan to release the millions it’s withholding from one of the state’s Medicaid managed care organizations until 75 percent of provider claims are reprocessed.

Stephen Andrews / Unsplash

The Iowa House has passed five bills related to increasing access to childcare.

Trust "Tru" Katsande / Unsplash

Iowa health officials have identified five additional "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. This brings the total cases to eight in Iowa.

Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Iowa’s first three presumptive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, have been detected in Johnson County, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Sunday.

Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The state Department of Public Health is asking Iowans who have recently traveled to certain countries where the novel coronavirus is spreading to self-isolate for two weeks.

Province of British Columbia / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

A new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found the Iowa economy loses close to a billion dollars annually due to childcare issues.

Eelke / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Iowa Department of Public Health says it is taking steps to monitor COVID-19 after federal officials say they expect the virus to spread in the U.S.

John Pemble / IPR file photo

An email released from the Department of Human Services Monday shows a top official had knowledge of alleged controversial experiments conducted at Glenwood Resource Center.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

In some parts of Iowa when you call 911, there’s no guarantee that an ambulance will be available, and this is a big problem in rural areas, where volunteers are scarce. That’s because emergency medical services are not considered essential, like fire or police.


Michael Zamora / The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool

Multiple child abuse reports to the Department of Human Services were mishandled leading up to the death of West Des Moines teenager Natalie Finn, according to a report released Monday by the state government ombudsman's office.

John Pemble / IPR

An Iowa Senate commerce subcommittee has advanced a bill that would require both of the state’s Medicaid managed care organizations to use the same process for approving payments to providers.

Amy Mayer / IPR File

A report released this week has found Iowa has made improvements when it comes to dealing with public health emergencies.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Democratic caucus frontrunners Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg have requested the recanvassing of a total of 85 Iowa caucus precincts. 

Monday was the deadline for campaigns to request a recanvass, which is narrower than a recount and involves rechecking the precinct worksheets. 

Presidencia de la República Mexicana / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

A subcommittee of the House judiciary committee heard testimony on Wednesday for a bill that would put a cap on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The bill would make $250,000 the maximum amount a jury could award for non-economic damages. The cap would not impact economic damages awarded for lost wages or healthcare costs.

Eelke / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Iowa Department of Public Health says it has identified two people in the state who are undergoing evaluation and testing for the coronavirus. 

State medical director Caitlin Pedati said in a press conference on Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon that the two people are in isolation and are being tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lindsay Fox / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Iowa has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to preventing tobacco use, according to a new report by the American Lung Association. 

The Annual State of Tobacco Control report gave Iowa low grades in nearly every category. This includes failing grades for its tobacco prevention and control program funding and for the amount it taxes tobacco products.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

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