It’s reopening day for some Iowa businesses. The governor’s order that restaurants, fitness centers and retail businesses close to slow the spread of COVID-19 has been lifted in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties.
“Iowans in many communities will have an opportunity to shop on Main Street, eat at their favorite local restaurant or attend church on Sunday if they choose,” Reynolds said Thursday during her daily news conference,
The governor’s order limiting public gatherings to 10 or less has been lifted for religious services statewide, but many denominations do not plan to resume in-person worship. That includes the West Des Moines church Reynolds attends which is sticking with online services. Reynolds said it’s time for Iowans to learn how to manage the virus in the course of their daily lives.
“Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” the governor said Thursday. “The virus will continue to be in our communities and unfortunately people will still get sick until a vaccine is available. Keeping businesses closed for weeks or months longer won’t change that fact and it simply is not sustainable.”
Some are expressing concern that residents of the 22 counties where business closures remain in force will travel to the 77 less-populated counties and spread the virus. Pella, for example, canceled its annual Tulip Festival, but residents say tourist traffic increased significantly last weekend. Reynolds said she trusts Iowans to do the right thing.
“I believe that we can begin to get life and business back to normal in a safe and responsible way if we all continue to work together and to do our part,” Reynolds said.
The latest state report indicates 162 Iowans have died of COVID-19 since the first fatal case was reported in early March. Test results produced from Sunday through Wednesday morning identified 1626 new cases. Testing has been prioritized for Iowans who work in meat packing plants or health care settings, including nursing homes where outbreaks have been identified. Iowans with COVID-19 symptoms or those who’ve spent time near someone who has tested positive may also be tested.