Governor Kim Reynolds isn’t providing a timeline for her decisions, but the governor will likely give portions of the state permission to reopen for public gatherings and commerce before others.
Reynolds said about 70% of Iowa’s positive COVID-19 cases are in eight counties.
“This will allow me when I look individually at the number of cases in each county, the number of recovered and what we see going forward, it really will allow me where I can statewide, I will,” Reynolds said Wednesday, “but where I can’t, we’re going to start opening up areas that aren’t being impacted at a significant rate.”
Reynolds ordered all Iowa bars and restaurants to close to crowds at noon on March 17th, although they’ve been able to sell food and alcohol through carry-out, drive-through or curbside service. The following week, the governor ordered hair salons and barbershops and several types of retail businesses to close.
Reynolds said she may allow certain businesses to reopen in phases — and ask business owners to ensure customers and employees are able to be six feet from one another.
“Our goal is to open back up as many as we can,” Reynolds said, “but maybe do it with limited capacity, social distancing, some recommended measures that they would have to follow in order to do that.”
Reynolds made her comments during a live news conference yesterday on the Radio Iowa network.
Reynolds said her staff has been reviewing data by county, by city, and by zip code. She added state officials will learn details about coronavirus hot spots in the state from the Test Iowa program that will start offering drive-through COVID-19 testing. The Test Iowa website also is collecting health data about tens of thousands of healthy Iowans who voluntarily enter their information.