Bars in Johnson and Story Counties must stay closed, but Governor Kim Reynolds has lifted part of her public health proclamation, letting bars in four other counties that have been closed for the past 19 days reopen Wednesday afternoon.

Bars, taverns, night clubs, wineries, breweries and distilleries in Polk, Dallas, Linn and Black Hawk Counties may reopen at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Restaurants in those four counties no longer have to cut off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. either.

On August 27th, the governor cited spiking Covid cases among young adults when she ordered drinking establishments in six counties to close. The governor’s latest order maintains bar closures in the two counties that are home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University campuses.

The governor’s public health proclamation continues to direct bars and restaurants to ensure at least six feet of separation between each group or individual customer and customers are to be seated when they’re eating or drinking. Bars and restaurants in Story and Johnson Counties may sell alcohol and cocktails for delivery or take-out, but customers are to leave promptly.

The proclamation also makes it clear that bars, social clubs and other venues in Story and Johnson Counties can’t start serving food to skirt the order to close, as at least 50 percent of operating revenue must come from food sales for a business to be allowed to sell alcohol along with food.