Opinion

Reopening plans continue

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

There are a lot of updates this week, so let's just get right to it: 

Governor practicing 'modified quarantine'

At the Monday May 11 press conference, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that she would be following a "modified quarantine" after a member of Vice President Pence's staff tested for COVID-19. The Governor traveled to Washington DC to meet with President Trump and participated in some events with Vice President Pence in Iowa.

The Governor's precautionary measures include practicing strong social distancing, wearing a mask when she is required to be around staff or others, regular temperature checks, and a daily COVID-19 test. Her actions are similar to the measures that Dr. Fauci is currently taking. She is continuing to hold regular press conferences, with additional protocols in place. 

 

Legislature planning to resume session

About two months ago, we suspended the legislative session as a precaution to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Prior to doing so, we passed a bipartisan plan that stabilized the state budget, ensured continuation of essential government services, and provided Governor Reynolds with additional tools to manage the disease outbreak.

In recent weeks, the situation in Iowa, and much of the country, has significantly improved. Average daily positive COVID tests are decreasing, the number of Iowans hospitalized by COVID is stabilizing, and testing is ramping up significantly.

Governor Reynolds has taken significant steps to reopen our communities and economy so Iowans can get back to normal life. Iowans are eager to get back to their loved ones, social lives, and jobs as soon as possible.

With these facts in mind, it is clear that it is time for us to get back to Des Moines and complete our work. Leadership has announced that we will reconvene on Wednesday, June 3 and get back to work. When lawmakers return, Iowans can expect lawmakers to address their priorities and pass a conservative and responsible state budget plan.

To protect the health and safety of legislators, staff, and the public, additional precautions will be implemented at the Capitol when we reconvene. Additionally, all House committee meetings will be live streamed so that Iowans can follow legislative business and ensure transparency.

Governor signs new proclamation opening up additional businesses statewide

The following businesses were able to reopen statewide if they open at 50% legal capacity and practice social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures as of May 15.

• Restaurants, social and fraternal clubs — self-service prohibited; seated parties no larger than 6

• Fitness centers

• Malls

• Common seating and play areas prohibited

• Other retail establishments that have previously been closed

• Salons amd barber shops by appointment only 

• Libraries

• Medical spas, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments, and tattoo establishments;

• Campgrounds

• Racetracks (including horse and dog races) — no spectators

• Drive-in theaters

• Farmers market — Vendors can only sell farm products and food; Common seating & live entertainment are prohibited.

• Auctions — 10 people or less except livestock auction which may have up to 25 people

The following businesses will continue to be closed statewide through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 27

• Bars — Continue to serve drive-thru and carry-out

• Theaters

• Casinos and gaming facilities

• Senior citizen and adult daycare facilities

• Amusement parks

• Bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades

• Museums, aquariums and zoos

• Indoor and outdoor skating rinks and parks

• Playgrounds

• Swimming pools

• Door-to-door sales

Mass Gatherings of more than 10 people will continue to be prohibited until 11:59 p.m. on May 27.

• Spiritual and religious ceremonies are not prohibited under this section.

• Wedding and funerals ceremonies are not prohibited under this section, but wedding receptions shall not have more than 10 people. 

• Gatherings of more than 10 inside parked vehicles shall not be considered a gathering of more than 10 people as long as everyone remains in their vehicles.

• Planned large gatherings and events must be cancelled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.