Governor Reynolds has extended her public health emergency proclamation for another 30 days. It was set to expire at midnight tonight (Thursday) and Reynolds says by extending it, many of the regulatory relief measures she’s authorized during the pandemic will remain in place.
“The proclamation also clarifies that all team athletic activities may now resume,” she said today, “according to guidance being provided by the Department of Education, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.”
This means Iowa schools can prepare for the resumption of fall sports like football, volleyball and cross country. Iowa is the only state in the country with high school summer sports of softball and baseball underway.
College athletes have returned to voluntary workouts and public health officials in Ames and Iowa City have expressed concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in Story and Johnston Counties. Ticket sales have been halted at both Iowa and Iowa State, to reduce seating capacity at 50 percent, which was required by the emergency proclamation the governor issued in late May. Reynolds said she’ll support whatever decision the universities make about having fans in the stands for football games — and she’d like to go to a game herself.
“If I can work it into my schedule, I think I would love to have the opportunity to go to an Iowa State or Iowa or UNI game,” she said, “or any of the other colleges.”
It’ll be up to fans to be responsible for their own health, Reynolds told reporters.
That’s how we continue to move forward and honestly, hopefully we’ll continue to see the downward trends that we’re seeing,” Reynolds said. “…There’s a long time between now and then and we’ll see what the numbers are and if we have to adjust accordingly, we can.”
Statewide trends show the number of Iowans hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 continues to decline. At 10 o’clock this morning, Iowa hospitals were treating 137 coronavirus patients — down from a high of more than 400 in mid-May.