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.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a news conference regarding COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, Monday, April 6, 2020.
Olivia Sun / The Des Moines Registers via AP, pool

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday that two more long-term care centers are working to contain outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents and staff. She did not name the centers, but said one is in Tama County and another is in Washington County. That follows news last week that an outbreak was in progress at Heritage Specialty Care in Cedar Rapids.

CDC / Unsplash

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer speaks with renowned neuroscientist Dan Levitin about his new book "Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives." This book offers new insights on getting older and asks the overarching question: why do some people age better than others? It also debunks myths about memory, depression and chronic pain in old age.

Madeleine King/Iowa Public Radio

We've received lots of questions about coronavirus, COVID-19, PPE, social distancing and what this means for us individually and for the economy. In fact, we've had many of the same questions as you. 

To help understand what we need to know, we've reached out to medical experts from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. 

Deep Concern For Some Iowa Hospitals’ Viability After COVID-19 Crisis

Apr 6, 2020
Lyle Muller / IowaWatch

Some Iowa hospitals ramping up their efforts to treat COVID-19 victims will not survive the pandemic without an infusion of cash, the head of the professional association for those hospitals said.

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. 

Iowa Department of Public Health

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the updated map released by state health officials on Monday, April 6.

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

A record-high number of people applied for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs engulfed the United States in the face of a near-total economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.
Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

The U.S. Department of Labor reported more than 9 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance over the past two weeks.

While millions of people are laid off, there’s another set of individuals who work in industries the nation collectively asked not to slow down. These are the essential workers. They ensure the hundreds of thousands of people social distancing, or sheltering in place, can continue to live their lives. 

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.

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. 

Penn State via Flickr creative commons /

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.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Iowa and the small number of other states without any formal shelter-in-place order can now be counted on one hand. On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by reporters from across the Midwest to get a better idea of how COVID-19 is being handled in the region.

Courtesy of Siobhan Spain

As the coronavirus spreads every one of us will know someone who is infected, if we don’t already. But right now it can still be difficult to wrap our minds around what is going on and many people are, understandably, reluctant to share that they are infected with COVID-19. On this segment of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe speaks with Siobhan Spain, director of Mainframe Studios in Des Moines to share her story. She and her husband have both tested positive for COVID-19.

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. 

Ani Kolleshi/Unsplash

On this episode of River to River, guest host Katelyn Harrop is joined by emergency physician Dr. Hans House and Matthew Nonnenmann, associate professor of occupational and environmental health in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, to answer listeners' top questions about COVID-19 and the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Matthew Henry / Unsplash

Guest host Charity Nebbe speaks with several mental health experts about how to navigate mental health in times of crisis. They offer tips and share information about mental health resources that are available in Iowa.

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.

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.


On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Iowa Public Radio news director Michael Leland and IPR reporters for an update on the impact of COVID-19 and recovery efforts within schools, prisons, hospitals and elsewhere across the state.

Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash

With classes canceled or moving online, college students are moving back home. They’ll be joined by their parents, siblings and anyone one else who is working from home as the country practices social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Madeleine King/Iowa Public Radio

What is COVID-19? How do you help stop the spread of coronavirus? What does it mean to self-isolate?

As we settle into self-distancing and working from home, you're going to need to be ready to protect your health and the health of those around you. Here's a quick guide on the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

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.

Joyce Russell / IPR file

The head of Iowa’s agency that handles unemployment insurance said Friday they are seeing an “unprecedented” number of unemployment claims as Iowans get laid off or are unable to work because of COVID-19.

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Friday she is suspending most evictions, penalties and interest related to property tax collection, and some other state regulations in response to COVID-19. The measures are part of an additional state public health emergency declaration signed by Reynolds

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. 

Matthew Putney/AP

On this segment of River to River, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, who represents Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, joins host Ben Kieffer live to address concerns surrounding COVID-19 and its economic impact on Iowans and Iowa businesses.

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.