Letter to the Editor

Personal responsibility

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

For many of us, summer in Iowa is synonymous with sitting outside on the patio of our favorite bar or restaurant and enjoying a cold beverage. Luckily, for now, we have been able to do that albeit with some restrictions. In order for this to continue, we all need to take personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Beginning last month, the Alcoholic Beverages Division and the Department of Inspections and Appeals began to work together to ensure that Iowa bars, restaurants, and other food establishments follow public health guidelines set forth by Governor Reynolds' emergency public health disaster proclamation.

As the regulator of the alcohol industry in the state, the ABD must protect the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of Iowa. Enforcing proclamation requirements which include six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking alone, and ensuring patrons have a seat at a table or bar helps limit the spread of COVID-19 and protects Iowans.

We want these business owners to continue to sell your favorite food or drinks. The vast majority of them are taking the necessary precautions to adhere to social distancing guidelines and increased hygiene measures. Our team has witnessed creativity and innovation from business owners across the state who continue to safely serve customers while also taking those extra precautions. That being said, COVID-19 is resilient. We need customers to take responsibility as well. We all have a role to play.

What can you do? Ask the establishment what precautions they are taking and adhere to their guidelines. Wearing a mask or being extra cautious about how close we are to other groups are small inconveniences. If your favorite bar or restaurant is overly busy, ask to get your order to go. Many of these establishments now have the ability to sell mixed drinks to go. If that establishment is too busy and you really want your favorite cocktail, take the safer approach and place a to go order to consume responsibly at home. If an employee asks you to adhere to the guidelines and keep your distance from others, please comply. They are doing their best to keep their staff and customers safe and follow the public health guidelines.†

Letís all work together to stop the spread of this virus.†

Stephen Larson, Administrator

Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division