March 8, 2021

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – March 8, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the state’s first case of COVID-19. This week, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) will mark the event by expressing appreciation to the teams at both agencies as well as our community partners and other state agencies who have worked in a sustained emergency response for more than a year.

“This has been a year of grief. We’ve lost so much in our everyday life, including so many little things we used to take for granted. And for many Iowans, that loss may also include a loved one. This is a moment to pause and reflect on what we’ve endured together, and to focus on our resiliency. I am continually grateful to our teams at IDPH and DHS, as well as our partners throughout the state,” said Director Kelly Garcia.

This week, Iowans are encouraged to take a picture and share on social media what this year has meant to them using the hashtag and sign (click on the hashtag for a printable sign): #IowaStrong. Our teams at IDPH and DHS are encouraged to share their stories with the following hashtags and holding the following signs (click the hashtags for printable signs): #IAmIDPH and #IAmDHS. We encourage our local public health partners to share their stories using the hashtag and sign #IAmLocalPublicHealth.

As we acknowledge the hard year of the work behind us, it’s also important to look ahead. We encourage Iowans to use and share the following resources:

  • COVID Recovery Iowa
  • Your Life Iowa
  • Vaccinate Iowa

Over 800,000 Iowans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. We anticipate vaccine production increasing, and by the end of May, there should be enough vaccine available for anyone who wants one. Still, it remains important for Iowans to continue practicing the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Fully vaccinated Iowans should follow this guidance from the CDC.

Those who have not been vaccinated should continue to:

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick 2
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible


Media contact:

Matt Highland