Today is the day bars in Iowa are allowed to reopen — but at half of seating capacity. Iowa’s largest county has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and a Polk County official is urging restraint.

“We understand the pain of the last two months of isolation,” Polk County Board of Supervisors chairman Matt McCoy said this week, “but please do not make that a wasted effort by throwing caution to the wind.”

McCoy says the county sheriff’s office and Des Moines police will monitor crowds, but didn’t say how the limit on how many customers can be at a bar will be enforced. The governor ordered Iowa bars to close at noon on St. Patrick’s Day, but later allowed bars to sell alcohol for carry-out and cocktails-to-go.

(By Iowa Public Radio’s Grant Gerlock)