Reynolds extends COVID-19 mitigation requirements through Aug. 23

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. (Photo from Reynolds' YouTube channel.)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has extended the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency declaration for an additional 30 days.

A proclamation signed by Reynolds on Friday extends through Aug. 23 the COVID-19 mitigation measures currently in place for Iowa businesses.

It includes the requirements for bars and restaurants to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual who is dining or drinking; the requirement to ensure all patrons have a seat at either a table or the bar; and the requirement for establishments to limit patrons from congregating together closer than six feet.

Requirements for social distancing, hygiene, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission also remain in place for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and other establishments.

The proclamation also extends many of the regulatory relief measures Reynolds imposed related to health care, professional licensure, the educational workforce, and the expirations of drivers’ licenses.

Some past provisions of proclamation have not been extended, including the suspension of the requirement for retailers to accept empty bottles and cans for redemption of the container deposit. That statutory requirement resumes on Sunday, July 26.

Clark Kauffman
Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.