Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced most businesses in Iowa will be permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity beginning May 15, including restaurants, fitness centers, salons, barbershops, and massage therapists.
The order does not include bars and casinos, which will not be allowed to reopen at this time.
The Iowa Department of Public Health has provided guidelines to businesses to safely reopen, to implement frequent cleaning, provide easy access to hand washing and hand sanitizing for customers, and allow employees to wear masks.
Sarah Reisetter, Iowa’s deputy director of public health, said that Iowans over 65 or any individuals with conditions making them more susceptible to the virus should continue to stay home as businesses reopen.
“Every Iowan needs to do what’s best for them, and that will differ depending on everyone’s unique circumstances,” Reisetter said.
Reynolds said though coronavirus is likely to persist for a long time, the economy must reopen to preserve livelihoods.
“We can and must reopen our economy,” Reynolds said. “We can restart in a stable and responsible way. We can slow the spread, protect the health of iowans and their livelihood, and our healthcare system in the long-run.”
Reynolds previously allowed businesses to open in 77 counties to open, while restrictions remained in place in 22 counties, including Johnson County.
Reynolds first closed bars and restaurants on March 17.
Iowa has had a total of 13,289 positive cases of COVID-19, with 306 deaths.