Governor Kim Reynolds has released a video message to Iowans, urging them to voluntarily wear a mask and practice other public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is far from over and I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t want to reverse the progress that we’ve made since the pandemic began and that’s why I’m again asking for your help,” Reynolds said. “I believe in Iowans and I know that we can continue to step up and take personal responsibility, not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do.”
Nearly 3600 cases of COVID-19 among Iowans were confirmed by testing last week, the highest one-week total in nine weeks. Over the weekend, more than 1200 additional cases were confirmed, with case numbers spiking in the Great Lake region and Polk County.
The governor said “simple steps” are the best defense against the virus and that includes wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands.
“So let’s step up, Iowa,” Reynolds says in the video. “Protecting yourself means you’re protecting yourself, your family members, your co-workers and your fellow Iowans.”
The governor’s current public health emergency proclamation — issued in late June — is set to expire on July 25th. Reynolds has indicated parts of it may remain in force through the end of the year. She’s also hinted she may reinstate some restrictions on bars if the number of young adults testing positive for the virus continues to climb.
“Each and every one of us has it in our power to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Reynolds said in today’s video statement. “That’s how we’ll keep Iowans safe and healthy, keep our economy up and running and keep our state moving forward.”
The number of Iowans hospitalized for treatment of the virus has increased 50 percent since June 28th. However, that’s about two-thirds below the peak in hospitalizations reached back on May 7th. The state website indicates 177 people are hospitalized today.