Gov. Reynolds issues new proclamation easing some retail restrictions in 22 counties, others statewide

Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval...
Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(KCRG)
Published: May. 6, 2020 at 5:27 PM CDT
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The governor of Iowa issued a new public health-related proclamation on Wednesday, permitting the easing of some coronavirus-related restrictions in the 22 counties that had them extended earlier than anticipated.

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the proclamation which includes changes to policies for the entire state, along with some for the 22 counties which she had extended her earlier proclamation through May 15. Those counties include Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington, and Woodbury counties

The changes are effective at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.

In those 22 counties, fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, and aquatic centers may allow a single person into them at one time on an appointment-only basis. They must take measures to ensure social distancing and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 per state public health guidelines.

Additionally, enclosed malls will be allowed to reopen, but must limit the number of people allowed inside to 50% of its maximum capacity. Seating areas and play areas inside the malls must remain closed. Restaurants and foodservice businesses inside malls may provide carry-out only service. Malls must also ensure social distancing practices and other measures recommended by health department officials to limit coronavirus spread.

Other retail establishments, such as bookstores, clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, cosmetic/beauty/perfume stores, florists, furniture or home furnishing stores, tobacco stores, toy stores, gaming stores, music stores, instrument stores, movie stores, and adult entertainment stores may also reopen, under the same rules mandating only 50% of maximum capacity in the store at once. Stores must also ensure social distancing and other public health department guidance is followed.

Restaurants and bars, swimming pools, salons, barbershops, libraries, and race tracks in those 22 counties must remain closed through May 15 in accordance with the previous proclamation.

More businesses allowed to reopen statewide

Reynolds reopened some business types statewide with her new proclamation on Wednesday.

Campgrounds, both public and private, may reopen on May 8, as long as operators take reasonable measures to ensure social distancing and hygiene practices that limit the spread of the virus.

Drive-in movie theaters can reopen, but cars must be parked at least six feet apart, along with other measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 per state guidance.

Tanning facilities may also reopen statewide, but must take enhanced hygiene practices and ensure social distancing. Medical spas, as defined by state code, can resume performing medical aesthetic services but must take proper steps, including using personal protective equipment, to ensure the safety of workers and customers.

Bars, theaters, casinos and other gaming facilities, social and fraternal clubs, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities, amusements (such as bingo, pool, bowling, arcades, amusement parks), museums, aquariums, zoos, skating rinks and skate parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, salons, barbershops, tattoo establishments,and message therapy establishments are all to remain closed statewide. Door-to-door sales remain prohibited.

In the 77 counties where restrictions were eased previously, social and fraternal clubs may serve food and beverages but under the same rules that apply to restaurants.

Proclamation makes adjustments to school start dates, athletics

Reynolds suspended the rule that prohibits schools from resuming prior to August 23, 2020, but only if the instructional time that is scheduled before then is "in excess of the minimum instructional time" of 180 days or 1,080 hours.

Her proclamation also suspended certain requirements for private instruction, meaning that children will not need to meet with private instructors face-to-face. It also suspends the requirement of an annual assessment of children receiving that type of instruction.

The new guidance also suspends the scholarship rule for interscholastic athletics, meaning that when athletic competition resumes, any student-athlete will be considered academically-eligible.

If a student-athlete would have been required to sit out due to a transfer, days that a school has been closed by previous proclamations can count toward that required time.

Some dental services can resume statewide

Dental care providers can resume services on May 8, as long as they are in compliance with guidance issued by the Iowa Dental Board on May 5. They must also have sufficient stocks of personal protective equipment without relying on state or local public health stockpiles and must implement plans to conserve their stocks of PPE.

The overall state of public health disaster emergency is currently slated to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 27, unless shortened or extended by another proclamation from Reynolds.

Reynolds will be holding a coronavirus briefing for the state on Thursday, May 7.