Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency Tuesday that limits the mass gathering of people to 10. The declaration, which goes into effect at noon, closes bars, restaurants, casinos, theaters and other businesses across the state.

In a press release, the Governor said it takes significant steps to require social distancing and limit community spread of the coronavirus by implementing the temporary measures. The proclamation also allows state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, and supports the critical work of public health.

“These are unprecedented times and the state of Iowa will do whatever is necessary to address this public health disaster," Reynolds said. "I have authorized all available state resources, supplies, equipment and materials to combat the spread of COVID-19. The actions taken today are necessary to protect the health and safety of all Iowans and are critical to mitigating the spread of the virus.”

Under the Governor's action, restaurants and bars will be closed to the general public. Those establishments can deliver food or beverages to customers off the premises, or they can operate as a carry-out or drive-through business.

The following businesses are also closed while the state of emergency is in effect:

  • All casinos and other facilities conducting pari-mutuel wagering or gaming operations
  • All fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, and aquatic centers
  • All theaters or other performance venues where live performances or motion pictures are shown
  • All facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers

Mass gatherings are also impacted by the Governor's declaration. Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.

Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.

The Governor's declaration went into effect at noon today and continues until 11:59 PM on March 31, 2020.

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