Reynolds orders further closure of businesses

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the closure of several businesses including malls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, amusement parks, playgrounds, tobacco and vape shops, and more.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 14.

Caleb McCullough, Assistant Politics Editor

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the closure of more businesses and public gathering places in an acceleration of Iowa’s response to the coronavirus, including malls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, amusement parks, libraries, museums, zoos, skate parks, playgrounds, tobacco and vape stores, and campgrounds. 

“All of the closures and restrictions outlined in the disaster emergency proclamations will be enforced, specifically the limitation on social gatherings,” she said at a Monday press conference.

Reynolds said the businesses included in the latest proclamation were identified as nonessential places that people were continuing to gather. 

“I’ve said all along, I’m not hesitant to add as we feel necessary,” she said. “So as we see people gathering, as we take a look at what some nonessential activities may be, then we will continue to add them to the list.”

RELATED: Iowa governor declares public-health disaster emergency amid COVID-19 spread, closing bars and restaurants

The additional closures come amid mounting pressure from local and national voices for Reynolds to implement a stay-at-home order. Iowa is now one of only five states with no stay-at-home order in any part of the state.

The metric the state is using to decide whether to implement a stay-at-home order includes four criteria: percent of the population older than 65, hospitalization rates, infection rate per 100,000, and outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

The Iowa Department of Public Health divides the state into six regions that are given a score of one to three on each metric, and if one region meets a score of 10, a stay-at-home order would be recommended.

Iowa Department of Public Health deputy director Sarah Reisetter said none of the six regions have reached the threshold that would require a stay-at-home order.

“The regions five and six on the eastern side of the state, they do continue to have our highest scores, and that’s where we have our long term care outbreaks that have been confirmed, as well as the most cases in our state,” she said.