Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced Tuesday night, the first person who had tested positive for coronavirus in the state has died.

The novel coronavirus has made its way to Des Moines County.


According to a press release issued Wednesday by Des Moines County Public Health, one individual in Des Moines County has tested positive for COVID-19.


That person is self isolating at home. The individual, who is between the ages of 18 and 40, has a recent history of travel. The individual’s city of residence has not been released.


Des Moines County Public Health Director Christa Poggemiller said more positive tests could be in the pipeline as she only is notified when there is a positive test, so she does not know if more tests from the Des Moines County area are still being processed.


"While this is Des Moines County’s first case, it may not be the last, and that’s why we encourage all residents to continue to make prevention a priority," Poggemiller said.


Poggemiller said Des Moines County was not included in Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ press conference Wednesday due to timing issues, but it is expected to be announced Thursday.


While COVID-19 may officially be in Des Moines County, it does not mean Poggemiller’s recommendations have changed. She said frequently washing hands, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow and staying home when sick, even if only mildly ill, remain the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Burlington Mayor Jon Billups said while he is concerned, he is not surprised Des Moines County has been hit by COVID-19.


"Law of averages said it would hit us eventually," Billups explained.


Last week, Billups issued a proclamation closing city offices to walk-in traffic. He said he does not foresee any reason to take steps beyond what Reynolds puts into place for the entire state.


Billups emphasized in these stressful times, it is important for residents to remember to fact check information they see on Facebook. He said the best places to get accurate information are government pages.


These officials with the Iowa Public Health Department made the difficult announcement Tuesday night when Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced the first person in the state died from coronavirus.


"Our hearts are heavy with the first loss of an Iowan to COVID-19. The thoughts and prayers of our state are with the family during this difficult time," Reynolds said. "I continue to urge all Iowans to protect their health and the health of others, especially older individuals and those with chronic health conditions who are most at risk. We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of this virus."


The person lived in Dubuque County and was between 61 and 80 years old. No additional information was released.


Poggemiller stressed that even a mild illness is cause for concern. Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19 will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most of those who are mildly ill do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house.


People should continue to self isolate until all of the following are true: You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers), other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) and at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.


If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home. There may also be options for you to talk to a medical provider from home using technology.


For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.


This report will be updated.