Gov. Kim Reynolds considering new mitigation policies as COVID-19 cases rise

Reynolds will look at coronavirus trends across the state and consider additional measures to curb the spread of the virus, including limiting bar hours.


Katina Zentz

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

Caleb McCullough, Summer Editor

Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will consider implementing new mitigation strategies to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the seven-day average of new cases continues to climb in Iowa.

Reynolds said that all options are on the table when it comes to further policies to mitigate the virus. She said she will be meeting with state epidemiologist Caitlin Pedati and other public health officials Wednesday to determine if any new orders are necessary.

She said the team would go over the seven and 14-day trends, hospitalizations, availability of hospital beds and other factors to determine the decision.

“We’ll continue to monitor the positivity rates and look and see if there’s any additional measures that need to be taken so that we can mitigate, contain, and manage the virus among Iowans,” she said at a press conference Tuesday.

Positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise in several high-population counties in Iowa. Daily new cases have reached record highs in Johnson, Scott, and Story Counties over the past few weeks.

Much of the increase is attributed to young people in college towns and larger cities, Reynolds said. Of the positive cases statewide between June 21 and July 5, Reynolds said 60% were among adults aged 18-40.

Reynolds said she would consider adjusting the hours that bars are allowed to remain open to limit the spread of the virus during bars’ busiest hours.

Reynolds also said she hasn’t ruled out allowing local governments to issue their own mitigation measures, but she maintained they do not have that authority under the current public health disaster proclamation, an opinion which has been backed up by Attorney General Tom Miller.

Muscatine Mayor Diana Broderson issued a city-wide mask mandate on Sunday, but the Muscatine County attorney said Monday that she doesn’t have the authority to do so.

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