Reynolds extends bar closures in Johnson, Story Counties until Sept. 27

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on Friday that extended her previous mandate that closed bars in six Iowa Counties including Johnson County. Rather than bars and nightclubs opening back up on Sept. 20 like originally planned, they will continue to be closed until Sept. 27.

Gov.+Kim+Reynolds+speaks+during+the+Condition+of+the+State+address+at+the+Iowa+State+Capitol+on+Tuesday%2C+January+14%2C+2020.+Gov.+Kim+Reynolds+discussed+initiatives+such+as+tax+cuts%2C+mental+health+funding%2C+and+workforce+training.+

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.

Lauren White, Politics Reporter


Gov. Kim Reynolds extended the closure of bars in Johnson and Story Counties for another week and continued the Public Health Disaster Emergency in Iowa for another 30 days on Friday.

On Aug. 27, Reynolds restricted bars in six Iowa counties after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, mainly in people between the ages of 19 and 24 year olds. Reynolds opened bars back up in Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn, and Polk Counties after less than three weeks on Sept. 15.

A press release from the governor’s office says the governor signed a new proclamation extending the bar closures in Johnson County, home of the University of Iowa, and Story County, home of Iowa State University, until Sept. 27. Restaurants in these counties may remain open, it says, but must stop serving alcohol after 10 p.m. Bars can also continue to sell to-go alcoholic drinks.

The other public health mitigation measures currently in place for businesses and other establishments, such as hygiene and social distancing requirements, have also been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.

Dean of Student Accountability at the UI, Angela Ibrahim-Olin, sent out a message to the student body before the closure was extended that said individual students and organizations that are found to be engaging in behavior that the university has deemed unsafe — such as gatherings that exceed the stated capacities of a space and gatherings where people are not wearing face coverings or maintaining six feet of physical distance — may result in disciplinary action.

“The responsibility is on all of us to continue to engage in the behaviors that help mitigate the spread of the virus. This includes wearing face coverings whenever inside university buildings or whenever social distancing is not possible, as well as avoiding large group gatherings on and off campus,” Ibrahim-Olin said. “We are able to continue to work together to create the culture we desire at the University of Iowa.”

Jeneane Beck, Assistant Vice President for External Relations at the UI, said in an email that the university is pleased with the governor’s proclamation and will continue to work with local and state officials to implement policies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The responsibility is on all of us to continue to engage in the behaviors that help mitigate the spread of the virus,” Beck said. “This includes wearing face coverings whenever inside university buildings or whenever social distancing is not possible, as well as avoiding large group gatherings on and off campus. We are able to continue to work together to create the culture we desire at the University of Iowa.”

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