There are new guidelines for restaurants in the 77 Iowa counties that have the governor’s permission to reopen Friday.
“You know, many Iowans have missed their favorite local restaurant and they’re curious about how the experience will be different and whether it will be safe,” Governor Reynolds said late this morning during her daily news conference.
No more than six people should be allowed to sit at a table and dining should be by reservation only, so no walk-in traffic.
“Prohibit customer self-service of food, including buffets and salad bars,” Iowa Department of Public Health deputy director Sarah Reisetter said as she read the guidelines aloud. “Implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers.”
Reisetter said employees’ temperatures should be taken when they get to work and anyone with a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home.
“Employees with direct customer contact should wear masks that are laundered or replaced daily,” Reisetter said, “and work stations should be staggered, so employees are stationed at least six feet apart whenever possible.”
Restaurants that reopen are to eliminate seating in bar areas where customers sit close together.
“We understand that we are asking restaurants to take many precautions,” Reisetter said, “but it’s all in an effort to protect their employees and their customers, so that we can all stay healthy.”
On Monday, Governor Reynolds said restaurants in 77 counties with limited virus activity may reopen, but at 50 percent of normal seating capacity, with at least six feet separating tables. The proclamation Reynolds issued Monday allows farmers markets to open in May. Vendors may only sell farm products and food.
“There can be no entertainment, other social activities or common seating. There is a required six-foot minimum spacing between vendors and other social distancing requirements for vendors and customers,” Reisetter said. “Signs should be posted telling the public not to enter if they are feeling ill and vendors should consider accepting cashless options whenever possible.”
According to the Federal Reserve, some paper currency can be in circulation for up to 15 years. A 2017 study of $1 bills circulating in New York City found that cash can carry bacteria and viruses.