Soaring COVID-19 numbers prompt Governor Reynolds to mandate new guidelines

By: 
Sharon Drahn
Herald Editor

Governor Kim Reynolds, in a proclamation last week, issued a new mandate effective through Thursday, December 10. The mandate was issued, she reiterated, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as the positivity rate has continued to grow throughout the state. This mandate is to be followed by all Iowans and are not be taken lightly.  It includes: 

Mask Use: Indoor spaces open to the public and State executive branch buildings. Masks are required when individuals are within six feet of one another for 15 minutes or longer with certain exceptions.

Gathering Restrictions: Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings. No more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors. These restrictions apply to wedding receptions, family gatherings, conventions, and other nonessential gatherings. It does not apply to gatherings that occur during the ordinary course of business or government.

Sporting and Recreational Events: Youth and adult group sporting and recreational gathering are prohibited except for high school, college and professional sports. Only two spectators are permitted for each high school athlete, performer or competitor. The spectator must wear a mask and maintain six feet distance from other spectators. Students may be closer than six feet and are not required to wear a mask.

Restaurants and Bars: Restaurants and bars, including wedding reception venues, wineries, breweries, distilleries, country clubs or other social or fraternal clubs, must close to in-person service by 10 p.m.. There will be no bar seating. Masks are required when patrons are not seated and they must maintain six feet distancing between groups. Groups are to be limited to eight people unless a larger group is all from the same household. Those in these establishments must remain seated while eating or drinking.

Closer/Prolonged Contact Establishments: Bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers. Closed to in-person service at 10 p.m. Masks required when not seated to eat or drink. Ensure that groups and individual are six feet apart. Groups limited to eight people unless from the same household.

Fitness Center: Health Centers, health spas and gyms: Group fitness activities are prohibited.

Casinos and Gaming Facilities: Masks are required except when seated to eat or drink.

Hospitals: Governor Reynolds also addressed non-essential surgeries. Hospitals must reduce its in-patient nonessential/elective surgeries to a level that uses at least 50% fewer beds than it did on an average during September of this calendar year.

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