Reynolds remains fixed against shelter-in-place order

Kim Reynolds said she will not be issuing a shelter-in-place order at a press conference Friday, though she said Iowa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is similar to that of other states.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds gives the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Rylee Wilson, Politics Reporter

After a week of public pressure from lawmakers and counties, Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will not issue a shelter-in-place order at this time, though Reynolds said orders currently in place in Iowa are on par with measures in other states. 

Iowa is one of 12 states to not have issued a statewide shelter-in-place order, and one of five states to not have a shelter-in-place order in any part of the state.

Several groups have called for Reynolds to issue a shelter-in-place order, including the Iowa Board of Medicine, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, and two Democratic members of Iowa’s congressional delegation. 

Reynolds said during her daily press conference that Iowa’s response is on par with that of other states, even though there is not a formal shelter in place order.

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“If you did a side by side comparison of what we are doing in Iowa and what other states are doing, they are much the same,” Reynolds said. “Even in states that have implemented shelter-in-place orders, they have kept the majority of their businesses open,similar to our orders.” 

Reynolds said she was concerned about the effect a shelter-in-place order could have on the mental health of Iowans. 

“We know that this has a significant impact on Iowas when we’ve asked them to really be responsible and stay at home as much as possible,” Reynolds said. “All of these decisions can have underlying effects on Iowans, and we have to manage that.”

As of Friday, there are 85 new confirmed cases in Iowa, bringing the total to 699 cases.