Governor Reynolds Announces More Reopenings Across Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds is ready to open more businesses in Iowa.

The governor also says on June 1st, schools can resume school sponsored learning and activities, including high school baseball and softball.

And just in time for Memorial Day weekend, state parks will loosen restrictions. DNR Director Kayla Lyon explains.

A reporter asked Governor Reynolds what led to the decision to reopen more businesses statewide.

Governor Reynolds says she is working with Public Health to evaluate whether any other changes to Iowa’s public health strategies should be made. She is expecting to make more announcements next week as they near the end of the state’s current disaster emergency proclamation on May 27th.

Here is the new proclamation explaining the re-openings:

DES MOINES – Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation permits summer school activities, including baseball and softball, to resume on June 1.  And effective this Friday, May 22, Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums, and wedding reception venues will be permitted to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place. Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons.

Governor Reynolds also announced that next Thursday, May 28, bars and other alcohol-related establishments that have been limited to carryout and delivery will be permitted to reopen for indoor or outdoor seating. These establishments will follow the same public health measures that restaurants have been implementing for the past several weeks.

The proclamation also provides additional regulatory relief to those affected by this disaster and continues to strongly encourages all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose

The full proclamation is online in its entirety and substantive information can be found below: 

NOW THEREFORE, I, KIMBERLY K. REYNOLDS, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution, Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(1), 135.140(6), and 135.144 do hereby proclaim a STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY continues to exist throughout the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE IOWANS

SECTION ONE.  I continue to strongly encourage all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose. And I encourage all Iowans to limit their in-person interactions with vulnerable Iowans and to exercise particular care and caution when engaging in any necessary interactions.

REOPENING OF BUSINESSES AND ESTABLISHMENTS

(Statewide)

SECTION TWO.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I hereby order that effective at 5:00 a.m. on May 22, 2020 and until 11:59 p.m. on May 27, 2020:

A.   Movie Theaters: Any theater at which motion pictures are shown may reopen, but only to the extent that the theater complies with the following requirements:

(1)  Capacity limited: The theater must limit the number of patrons present in any individual theater to 50% of its normal operating capacity to ensure adequate spacing of groups.

(2)  Social distancing: The theater must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone when seated in the theater.

(3)  Self-service prohibited:  The theater must not have any self-service of food or beverages.

(4)  Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The theater shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each theater to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

All other theaters and performance venues at which live performances are held shall continue to be closed.

B. Museums, aquariums, and zoos: A museums, aquarium, or zoo may reopen, but only to the extent that the establishment takes reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

C.   Swimming pools: A swimming pool, as defined in Iowa Code § 135I.1 may reopen for the limited purpose of lap swimming and conducting swimming lessons, but only to the extent that the establishment operating the pool takes reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health. Except for these limited purposes, all swimming pools and spas, wading pools, water slides, wave pools, spray pads, and bath houses, as defined in Iowa Code § 135I.1, shall continue to be closed.

SUMMER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

SECTION THREE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144(13), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Education, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation, a public school or nonpublic school, as defined in Iowa Code § 280.2, may reopen for school-sponsored activities and learning effective June 1, 2020, but only to the extent that such activities and learning are consistent with guidance of the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa High School Athletic Association, and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, as applicable. Any such school-sponsored activity that is conducted consistent with this guidance shall not be a violation of the prohibition on social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people under section 5 of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued on May 13, 2020.

WEDDING RECEPTIONS

SECTION FOUR.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, effective 5:00 a.m. on May 22, 2020 and until 11:59 p.m. on May 27, 2020, a wedding reception may be held provided that the establishment hosting the wedding reception complies with all the requirements of a restaurant under section 2, paragraph A, of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued on May 13, 2020. Such a reception that is hosted in compliance with those requirements shall not be a violation of the prohibition on social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people under section 5 of that Proclamation of Disaster of Emergency.

AUCTIONS

SECTION FIVE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, effective at 5:00 a.m. on May 22, 2020, any auctions may operate, so long as there are no more than 25 people present in person. Auctions with more than 25 people present in person may operate only if they are conducted outdoors and the auction organizer takes measures to ensure that each group or individual attending alone maintains at least six feet of physical distance.  All other auctions continue to be prohibited until 11:59 p.m. on May 27, 2020, at all locations and venues.

TEMPORARY TEACHER LICENSURE

SECTION SIX.  Pursuant to Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(6) and 135.144(3), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code section 272.2(22) and Iowa Admin. Code rule 282-13.6(1) requiring an applicant for a one-year temporary license to provide the board of educational examiners proof of an offer of a teaching position from a school district that can show it has made every reasonable and good faith effort to employ a teacher licensed under Chapter 272, so that the Board of Educational Examiners may issue a one-year temporary license to new teachers unable to complete the requirements for initial licensure as a result of this public health disaster emergency.

IOWA YOUTH SURVEY

SECTION SEVEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6(6) and Iowa Code § 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 135.11(28) requiring administration of the Iowa youth survey every two years to students in grades six, eight, and eleven in Iowa’s public and nonpublic schools.  I hereby direct the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide guidance to Iowa’s public and nonpublic schools regarding administration of the survey in 2021.

POOL REGISTRATION FEES

SECTION EIGHT.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6(6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Administrative Code rule 641-15.12(1), to the extent it requires a $25 penalty for each month or fraction thereof that the registration for a swimming pool or spa is not received by the Department of Public Health by April 30 or the first business day thereafter if the pool is closed during the month. I hereby direct the Department to issue a refund to any owner having already paid a penalty under this rule for the registration period that began on May 1, 2020.

IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

SECTION NINE.  The Iowa Department of Public Safety, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Transportation, and other participating state agencies continue to be directed to monitor the operation and implementation of this proclamation to assure the public’s health and safety.

SECTION TEN.  In conjunction with the Department of Public Health pursuant to Iowa Code §§ 29C.18 and 135.35, all peace officers of the state continue to be called upon to assist in the enforcement of the provisions of this Proclamation.

SECTION ELEVEN.  Nothing contained in this declaration shall be construed as an exemption from any other portion of the Iowa Code or Iowa Administrative Code not specifically identified in this proclamation.

SECTION TWELVE.  The provisions of this proclamation shall be effective immediately, unless otherwise noted. This proclamation shall not be construed to otherwise modify the proclamations of April 27, 2020, May 6, 2020, or May 13, 2020. This state of public health disaster emergency shall continue to expire on May 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me.

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