Governor closes salons, spas, tattoo shops, and more to combat COVID-19

Several nonessential businesses around the state will be closing Sunday after Governor Reynolds signed an emergency proclamation. The order also halts foreclosures on residential, commercial, and agricultural properties, and loosens licensing requirements for medical professionals.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds gives the Condition of the State address at the State Capitol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Reynolds discussed initiatives such as tax cuts, mental health funding, and workforce training.

Caleb McCullough, Assistant Politics Editor

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Sunday she would be closing all salons, barber shops, spas, massage therapists, tattoo shops, and swimming pools. 

The announcement came in a press conference Sunday afternoon, where Reynolds said she had signed an emergency proclamation to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The closures will take effect at 10 p.m. Sunday and continue until March 31.

Reynolds also announced she had suspended foreclosures on residential commercial, and agricultural properties, and loosened licensing requirements for medical professionals. 

Medical workers will not need to attend in-person continuing education and licenses will not expire for the duration of the crisis, she said.

“Licensing relief for medical professionals will ensure that doctors, nurses, and others who are ready to step up and serve are able to do so,” Reynolds said. 

The governor held the press conference hours after announcing 22 new cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, bringing the number in the state to 90. 

Following the largest single-day increase in positive cases yesterday, with 23 new cases, Reynolds advised that Iowans returning from trips outside the state self-isolate for 14 days.

The new measures come less than a week after Reynolds closed all bars and restaurants in the state, as surrounding states are ramping up their efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, issued a “shelter-in-place” order Friday, closing off nonessential travel in the state, but Reynolds reiterated at the press conference she was not planning on implementing a similar directive in Iowa. 

She said there are essential services and workers, like the health-care system, that need to keep functioning throughout the crisis. However, Reynolds said she would revisit the decision in the coming days as the COVID-19 crisis develops.

“We’re going to continue to reevaluate every day, we’ll sit down with the Department of Public Health, we’ll look at the CDC guidelines, we’ll look at what’s happening in other states…and we’ll make that decision going forward,” Reynolds said. “But right now we’re not at the place where we’re ready to implement that order.”