3D illustration of Coronavirus

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne is expressing concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the state's assisted living centers.

That's why the West Des Moines Democrat has written a letter to Governor Kim Reynolds, asking for additional COVID-19 testing and data disclosure to protect older Iowans and others living in skilled nursing, long-term care and others in assisted, congregate living facilities. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Wednesday morning, Axne says she's concerned older Iowans aren't getting the support they need from a testing perspective to stay healthy.

"As a matter of fact, our public officials have been very clear that older Iowans--especially those who live in congregate living homes--are some of most greatest risk when it comes to contacting COVID-19," said Axne. "The, they're at the greatest risk of dying when they get it. So, mortality rates in these homes, according to Iowa Public Health, are 17 times higher than we've seen statewide. This is an issue we need to address to keep our seniors health and alive."

Axne's proposal calls for the creation of a dedicated mobile Test Iowa team working specifically to test seniors and others in congregate living communities.

"It would be a mobile unit going out specifically to test seniors and others in these communities," she said. "The staff, as well, to keep everybody safe. It would help with increased testing with staff and residents at these facilities, and help identify potential outbreaks early, and help us address it."

The congresswoman's letter also highlights apparent changes to the state's coronavirus dashboard that removed details on positive cases in long term care facilities. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our "Morning Line" program at kmaland.com.