Gov. Kim Reynolds, Johnson County extend public health emergency declarations

Johnson County extended its public health emergency declaration until Aug. 1 on Thursday, or as long as Gov. Kim Reynolds’ State Disaster Declaration remains in effect.


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

Josie Fischels, Summer Editor

In response to the spike in positive cases of COVID-19 in Johnson County and other counties in Iowa, the Declaration of the Public Health Disaster Emergency has been extended to Aug. 1, or as long as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ State Disaster declaration remains in effect, by the approval of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and Johnson County Emergency Management Commission, according to a Thursday release.

The approval follows Reynolds’ Thursday decision to extend her most recent public health emergency proclamation for an additional 30 days. Her latest proclamation would have expired at 11:59 Thursday night.

“The extension of the proclamation will remain focused on actively managing COVID-19 in Iowa. We continue to assess virus activity and the process of our response efforts on a daily basis as we have from the very start,” Reynolds said during a Thursday press conference. “We know that COVID-19 remains in communities across our state and the nation and will for some time.”

Reynolds said that Iowa’s overall positive cases, hospitalizations, and death rate of the coronavirus have continued to decline over the past month. However, she said that some areas within the state have seen spikes among younger Iowans, including Johnson County.

As of Thursday, there are 893 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Johnson County.

“COVID-19 continues to pose a substantial widespread risk of infection, leading to a significant risk of harm to the population of Johnson County,” the board stated in the release. “The Board of Supervisors urges all residents of Johnson County to continue to practice appropriate physical distancing whenever interacting with other people, wear face coverings in public and increase hygiene and public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission.”