Guidance information is attached to this post.
On Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation that continues the State Public Health Emergency Declaration until May 27 but also allows for the reopening of businesses and establishments in 77 counties effective at 5 a.m. Friday, May 1, until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 15.
Included as part of the proclamation, Reynolds strongly encouraged all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than age 65 in all counties to continue to limit their activities outside their home, including visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose.
Counties not included in the reopening of businesses and establishments 22 counties with higher cases of COVID-19. They are Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington and Woodbury.
The full text of the governor's proclamation can be found at the governor's newsroom page at governor.iowa.gov/newsroom
A generalized version of the conditions of the governor's proclamation can be read below.
Reopening of businesses and establishments
in 77 counties
For the types of establishments listed below, reasonable measures must be implemented to ensure social distancing of employees and customers (or patrons), increased hygiene practices and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
This does not apply to race tracks as tracks cannot allow in-person spectators.
• Number of customers limited to 50% of normal operating capacity to ensure adequate spacing of groups
• Size of groups seated together limited to six
• Six feet of physical space required between each group or individual dining alone
• No self-service of food or beverages, including buffets and salad bars
• Does not allow bars to reopen
Fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms
• Number of customers limited to 50% of maximum legal occupancy capacity
• Fitness center must ensure that all equipment is spaced at least six feet apart or take other measures to ensure more closely spaced equipment is not used
• Group activities or classes limited to 10 or fewer people who are six feet apart at all times
• Number of customers limited to 50% of maximum legal occupancy capacity
• Common seating areas shall remain closed
• Restaurants in food courts may operate on carry-out basis
• Play areas or playgrounds must remain closed
• Number of patrons limited to 50% of maximum legal occupancy
• May reopen operations but cannot permit spectators to attend events in person
Other retail establishments
• Customers limited to 50% of maximum legal occupancy capacity
Extended closure of certain businesses
as applied to the 77 counties
The proclamation extended the closure of the following types of businesses until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 15, in all but the 22 counties listed above. The extension of closures in these 22 counties is dealt with in another section of the governor’s proclamation.
• Bars remain closed to the general public but can sell food and beverages on a carry-out, drive-through or off-premises delivery basis
• Casinos and gaming facilities
• Social and fraternal clubs, including but not limited to American Legion or VFW posts, Elks Clubs, country clubs and golf course clubhouses remain closed except that food and beverages may be sold if they are promptly taken from the premises. Golf course clubhouses may also be open to the minimal extent necessary to facilitate use of the golf course provided appropriate social distancing practices are implemented.
• Senior citizens centers and adult daycare facilities
• Bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades and amusement parks
• Museums, aquariums and zoos
• Skating rinks and skate parks
• Playgrounds and children’s play centers (outdoor and indoor), except for playgrounds in private residences or childcare facilities.
• Campgrounds (public and private) remain closed to temporary recreational use. The proclamation does not prohibit the use of a campground by a long-term or permanent tenant who resides at the campground. All cabins and yurts in state parks shll also continue to be closed to temporary residents.
• Swimming pools and spas, wading pools, water slides, wave pools, spray pads and bath houses
• Medical spas
• Tattoo establishments
• Massage therapy establishments
• Unsolicited door-to-door sales and solicitations at all homes and residences continue to be prohibited
Continuation of orders for farmers markets, statewide
Until 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 15
Farmers markets are not prohibited as a mass gathering if the following requirements are met.
• Only vendors that sell farm products or food are allowed
• Musical performances, children’s activities, contests or other entertainment or activities organized by the farmers market or vendors are prohibited
• All common seating areas, picnic tables or dining areas must be eliminated and vendors are prohibited from having any seating for the public to congregate or eat food on the premises
• Six feet or more of empty space must separate vendor booths or assigned parking areas
• Social distancing, hygiene and public health measures must be implemented
• Any other farmers market, festival or community gathering of 10 or more people that does not comply with the requirements is prohibited
Continuation of orders for auctions, statewide
Until 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 15
Auctions with more than 10 people present continue to be prohibited until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, all locations and venues, except for livestock auctions that include only food animals and farm product auctions, which may continue to operate as long as no more than 25 people are present in person. People inside parked cars, trucks or other enclosed motor vehicles will not be counted among the number of people present, provided that they remain inside the vehicle at all times.
Election activities, statewide
• Voting and election training: The prohibitions on certain mass gatherings shall not be construed to limit any person from voting or attending training for precinct election officials
• Use of Facilities: The closures of any school, establishment or other facilities shall not be construed to prohibit the operation of a polling place or in-person absentee voting location at the school, establishment or other facility.
Nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures
Until 11:59 p.m. on May 15
A hospital, outpatient surgery provider or outpatient procedure provider may conduct in-patient surgeries and procedures that, if further delayed, will pose a significant risk to quality of life and any outpatient surgeries or procedures if the hospital or provider complies with the following requirements.
(1) A hospital or provider must have:
(a) Adequate inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and access to a reliable supply chain without relying on state or local government PPE stockpiles to support continued operations and respond to an unexpected surge in a timely manner; and
(b) A plan to conserve PPE consistent with guidance from the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health;
(2) A hospital or provider must have a plan for timely COVID-19 testing of symptomatic patients and staff to rapidly mitigate potential clusters of infection and as otherwise clinically indicated. Providers must comply with any relevant guidance related to testing requirements for patients and staff issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control or a provider’s professional specialty society. For scheduled surgeries patients should have a negative COVID-19 test performed within 48 hours of surgery date. If a COVID-19 test is not available, a hospital or provider should consider alternative methods to determine the patient’s probability of COVID-19. If the patient has symptoms of fever, cough, or low oxygen saturation, then postponing the surgery is recommended.
(3) A hospital must continue to accept and treat COVID-19 patients and must not transfer COVID-19 patients to create capacity for elective procedures.
(4) A hospital must reserve at least 30% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 30% of medical/surgical beds for COVID-19 patients.
(5) A hospital or provider that begins conducting surgeries or procedures as authorized by this paragraph but is no longer able to satisfy all these requirements must cease conducting such surgeries or procedures except as authorized by paragraph B. All hospitals and providers shall have a plan in place to monitor compliance and a transition plan to reduce or suspend procedures and surgeries as necessary.
B. Except as provided in paragraph A, all nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize PPE must not be conducted by any hospital, outpatient surgery provider, or outpatient procedure provider, whether public, private, or nonprofit.
C. A nonessential surgery or procedure is one that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient, considering all appropriate factors including, but not limited to any: (1) threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed; (2) threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system; (3) risk of metastasis or progression of staging; and (4) risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.
D. Each hospital, outpatient surgery provider, and outpatient procedure provider shall limit all nonessential individuals in surgery and procedure suites and patient care areas where PPE is required. Only individuals essential to conducting the surgery or procedure shall be present in such areas.
E. Each hospital, outpatient surgery provider, and outpatient procedure provider shall establish an internal governance structure to ensure that the principles outlined above are followed.
Nonessential dental services
Until 11:59 p.m. on May 15
A. All dentists and their staff shall refrain from performing elective dental procedures, including: any cosmetic or aesthetic procedures; all routine hygiene; any orthodontic procedures other than those necessary to relieve pain or infection or to restore normal oral functioning; initiation of crowns, bridges, or dentures that do not address or prevent pain or restore normal oral functioning; any periodontal plastic surgery; extraction of asymptomatic non-carious teeth; recall visits for periodontally-healthy patients; and all appointments for high-risk patients, including ASA 2 and 3 patients, unless emergent.
B. This order does not prohibit the provision of emergency dental services. This order also does not prohibit the provision of dental surgeries conducted at a hospital that complies with the requirements of section 10, paragraph A.
C. This order shall be enforced by Iowa Dental Board investigators or their designees who, pursuant to Iowa Code § 153.33(1)(b), shall have the powers and status of peace officers when enforcing this order.
D. The Iowa Dental Board shall provide additional guidance to its licensees pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.19 regarding the nature and scope of this restriction, to the extent necessary to protect the public health and ensure continuity of services to Iowans.
Mandatory screening of health facility staff
The governor’s proclamation also continued to order that all hospitals, nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, residential care facilities, hospice programs and assisted living programs screen all staff at the beginning of their shift for fever or respiratory symptoms, absence or shortness of breath, new or change in cough, or sore throat, take the employee’s temperature, and take any preventative measures based on that screening to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the hospitals, nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, hospice programs, residential care facilities and assisted living programs.
School closure and waiver of instruction time requirements, minimum school day requirements
The proclamation ordered the closure of the school year for all public and non-public schools, which the governor had announced at her April 17 news conference. The proclamation waived the instructional time requirements and minimum school day requirements from April 13 to the end of the school year. This applies to school districts and accredited nonpublic schools that adopted a plan to offer continuous learning and had submitted the plan to the Iowa Department of Education by April 10 and continue to implement the plan.
Extension of business closures for 22 counties
The additional extension of business closures until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 15, applies to the following 22 counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington and Woodbury.
- Restaurants and bars continue to be closed to the general public except for the sale of food and beverages on a carry-out, drive-through or off-premises delivery basis
- Fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms and aquatic centers
- Swimming pools and spas, wading pools, water slides, wave pools, spray pads and bath houses
- Malls, including interior common areas and any retail establishment only accessible to the public from the interior common areas. A retail establishment that may be directly accessed from outside the mall is not required to close by this paragraph.
- Libraries, although library employees may be present and curb-side service may be provided
- Race tracks
- Other nonessential retail establishments: bookstores; clothing stores; shoe stores; jewelry stores; luggage stores; cosmetic, beauty, or perfume stores; florists; furniture and home furnishing stores; tobacco, cigarette, cigar, or vaping stores; and toy, gaming, music, instrument, movie, or adult entertainment stores shall continue to be closed. These establishments may still serve the public through online or telephone sales, deliver, or curb-side pick-up. They may also permit a customer to enter the store on an appointment basis provided that no more than 10 customers are present at a time. This closure order does not affect other retail establishments, such as discount stores, grocery stores or pharmacies that sell these goods in addition to other essential food, medical supplies and household goods.
Mass gatherings in 22 counties
Mass gatherings, as applied to businesses and establishments located in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington and Woodbury counties, effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, until 11:59 p.m. on May 15.
• Spiritual and religious gatherings not prohibited but a church, synagogue, or other host of a spiritual or religious gathering shall implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees, volunteers and other participants, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent. Although wedding and funeral ceremonies are not covered by this section, wedding receptions of more than 10 people are social gatherings that are prohibited.
• A gathering of people inside parked cars, trucks, or other enclosed motor vehicles shall not constitute a gathering of more than 10 people if no more than 10 people are inside each vehicle and all people remain inside the vehicle at all times.
• Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.