D.M. extends COVID-related building closures to Dec. 1

    Des Moines City Hall. (Photo courtesy of city of Des Moines)

    The city of Des Moines will keep its administrative buildings, including City Hall, closed until at least Dec. 1 due to persistent growth in COVID-19 cases locally.

    The buildings were scheduled to reopen Oct. 1. The have been closed since March 17.

    In a statement, Mayor Frank Cownie said it’s not safe to open the buildings yet.

    “We have no greater priority than to safely and effectively manage the situation for our employees and the public we serve,” Cownie said. “However, until we see a consistent, sustained decrease in the number of positive cases across the state and specifically here in Polk County, we will keep city offices closed to the public.”

    As of Wednesday morning, Iowa reported 71,108 positive cases statewide with 1,185 deaths. Polk County recorded the most cases with 14,171 and 246 deaths. The deaths included 19 in the past five days in Polk County.

    The extended closure includes the City Hall, Armory, Municipal Service Center, and Public Works buildings, the Des Moines Wastewater Reclamation Authority and the offices of the Civil & Human Rights Department.

    For questions about permits, licenses, or fines, call the city clerk’s office at (515) 283-4209 during business hours.

    The city publishes updates on programs and services here.

    Perry Beeman
    Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.