Governor closes all retail, extends closure of restaurants

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Governor Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds has added new closures and extended existing ones as part of the state’s fight against COVID-19.

In her Thursday afternoon press conference, Reynolds announced an expansion of her prior emergency proclamation that postpones non-essential surgeries and expands business closures.

Effective 10 p.m., Thursday, all existing closures will be extended until April 7.

This includes restaurants, bars, fitness centers, swimming pools, salons, medical spas, barbershops, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, and adds non-essential businesses of book stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, perfume and beauty supply stores, florists, furniture stores, home furnishing stores and other retail businesses.

Mass gatherings of more than 10 people continue to be prohibited in all areas.

This closure order does not affect other retail establishments, such as discount stores, grocery stores, or pharmacies that sell these goods in addition to other essential food, medical supplies, and household goods.

Starting 5 p.m., Friday, all non-essential surgeries such as dental or cosmetic surgeries will be postponed. The exception to the suspension is emergency surgeries.

“These actions will help us preserve the personal protective equipment, as well as our health care work force,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said health insurance companies will reimburse health care providers for telehealth at the same rate as an in-person visit.

The order also requires mandatory screening of staff of hospitals, nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, residential care facilities, and assisted living programs that would help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and help ensure that all cases of the disease are properly identified, controlled, and treated.

Reynolds also said 23 counties were receiving personal protective equipment Thursday that was being delivered by the National Guard.

She also said schools should remain closed until April 13, as previously stated. When the initial announcement of school closures was made, Reynolds said that in two weeks she would reevaluate, and she has decided to maintain the April 13 date.

Reynolds also said she believes the number of daily positive cases in Iowa will stabilize or decline next week.

“We believe and hope that next week we will start to see (the number of positive cases) come down or stabilize a little bit, based on the policies we’ve put in place,” Reynolds said.

On Thursday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was 179 in Iowa. There were 31 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday night and 891 tests available in Iowa, according to Reynolds.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been notified of 34 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for the total of 179 positive cases. There have been a total of 2,975 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

Included in that most up-to-date numbers, is a case in Sioux County of one older adult (61-80 years old).

According to IDPH, the locations and age ranges of the other individuals include:

• Appanoose County, 1 elderly adult (81+)

• Black Hawk County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)

• Cedar County, 1 middle-age (41-60 years), 1 older (61-80 years), 1 elderly (81+)

• Clayton County, 1 adult (18-40 years)

• Des Moines County, 1 adult (18-40 years)

• Jasper County, 1 elderly (81+)

• Johnson County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 4 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 1 older (61-80 years)

• Linn County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 3 middle-aged adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)

• Mahaska County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)

• Monona County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)

• Page County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)

• Polk County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 2 middle-aged (41-60 years), 1 older (61-80 years)

• Pottawattamie County, 1 middle-aged adult (41-60 years)

• Scott County, 1 elderly (81+), 3 middle-aged (41-60 years)

• Sioux County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)

• Washington County, 2 older adults (61-80 years)

A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431. The state of Iowa has started sharing the number of negative tests conducted at outside labs, and is providing additional information on the conditions of those infected with COVID-19.

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