Governor reopens more of the state

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

DES MOINES — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the updates to her state public health emergency declaration with the new proclamation lifting more restrictions than the previous mandate which was set to expire at the end of the day on May 15. The new edict goes into effect at 5 a.m., Friday, May 15.

“Two weeks ago, we began to reopen in 77 counties,” Reynolds said. “Effective May 15, all restrictions currently lifted in Iowa’s 77 counties will be expanded statewide.”

The new proclamation will also now permit salons, barbershops, massage and tattoo establishments to reopen throughout Iowa in limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place. The proclamation also lifts restrictions on restaurants, fitness centers, libraries and race tracks in the 22 counties where they were still closed.

Restaurants may open to 50 percent of normal seating capacity with party size limited to no more than six people. Self-service of food or beverages on buffets or salad bars remain prohibited. Bars, defined as establishments where customers may purchase alcoholic beverages in which the serving of food is incidental to the consumption of such beverages, will remain closed. Malls may reopen, but food courts shall remain closed. Those restaurants located within a food court may operate on a carryout basis only.

Retail establishments, fitness centers, salons, barbershops and libraries may operate at 50 percent of maximum legal occupancy. Salons and barbershops must operate by an appointment-only basis to avoid people gathering in a waiting area.

Campgrounds, tanning facilities, massage therapy and tattoo establishments may open, but only to the extent that they take reasonable measures to follow public health guidelines issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Social and fraternal clubs may open to minimal extent to conduct regular business with no more than 10 people.

Drive-in theaters may reopen as long as cars are parked at least six feet apart. However, regular theaters or other performance venues will continue to be closed. Other statewide closure extensions include casinos, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities, amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls and arcades, museums, aquariums and zoos. Outdoor facilities such as skating rinks and skate parks, playgrounds and swimming pools will also continue to be closed. Door-to-door sales will also continue to be prohibited. Those closures and restrictions remain in effect until 11:59 p.m., May 27.

The proclamation also prohibits mass gatherings of more than 10 people until that same time. Such gatherings include, but are not limited to parades, festivals, conventions and fundraisers and sporting events. Exempted from the mass gathering limits are spiritual or religious gatherings.

Farmers markets, auctions and nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures will see no changes to their current mandates in the proclamation with those also extending through May 27.

“Our decisions have been based on Iowa data, the expertise of our department of public health and our epidemiology team, the CDC, national exports and governors sharing their expertise and best practices,” Reynolds said. “The targeted mitigation efforts we put in place, temporarily closing pieces of our economy, has had a significant impact on Iowans, families and our small businesses that are such an important part of our economy. Using the data, we can target our response with speed and accuracy and in a safe and responsible way, and begin to reopen the pieces of our economy that we temporarily closed.”

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