Iowa - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 49,074 (August 10)
Tests Administered: 518,810 (January 1)
Fatalities: 933 (August 10)
  • A list of Iowa COVID-19 testing locations can be found here.


Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Reynolds has mentioned that Iowa’s essential services include “health care, emergency services, food production, and supply and manufacturing.” (March 22)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Iowa released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for select sectors can be found here.   
  • The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division released a three-step enforcement process for bars and restaurants that violate social-distancing requirements(July 30) 
  • Iowa Workforce Development reportedly announced that any worker who does not return to work due to fears of contracting COVID-19 will be considered to have voluntarily quit and thus will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. (April 28) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Reynolds announced that $490 million of the $1.25 billion in Coronavirus relief funds Iowa was provided through the CARES Act, will be deposited into Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. (July 2) 
  • Governor Reynolds announced the launch of the COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program, which will provide up to four months of rent for a maximum of $3,200 to Iowans unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 29) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has extended the Disposal Assistance Program and will now expand it to include egg producers. (July 20) 
  • The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced a grant program that will provide businesses with up to $7,500 for unpaid utility bills. (July 17) 
  • Governor Reynolds announced that she expanded funding for Iowa’s small business relief program from $4 million to $24 million. (April 8) 
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health has created a fund in support of Targeted Small Businesses that do not have employees and have been impacted by COVID-19. Certified Targeted Small Businesses can receive grants from $5,000 to $10,000 through the fund. (March 26) 
  • Governor Reynolds has announced that Iowa small businesses can apply for up to $25,000 in state grants during the pandemic. (March 23) 



  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that continued the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation called for restaurants and bars, fitness centers, salons, malls, and theaters to reopen with social distancing measures, among other provisions. (June 10) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed an executive order that allows bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and social and fraternal clubs to reopen with social distancing measures on May 28, among other provisions. (May 26) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that continued the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency. Among other provisions, the proclamation will allow summer school activities, including baseball and softball, to restart on June 1 and movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums, and wedding reception venues will be allowed to reopen with certain restrictions on May 22. (May 20) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that will allow salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments to reopen across the state with limited capacity and certain social distancing guidelines. The proclamation also allows for the reopening of restaurants (but not bars), fitness centers, libraries, and racetracks in the state’s 22 counties where they were not previously permitted to reopen. (May 13) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation extending the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation reopened dentist offices, campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities, and medical spas with certain restrictions, among other provisions. The measure also reopened malls and retailers in certain counties with social distancing restrictions, such as keeping capacity to 50 percent maximum and keeping common areas closed. (May 6) 



  • Governor Reynolds reaffirmed that all schools must hold 50 percent of classes in-person. If schools move primarily to online learning, they will be forced to make up any remaining days that are not counted towards instruction time. (August 4) 
  • Governor Reynolds released guidance stating that schools would have to see a COVID-19 positivity rate of at least 15 percent in the county where they are located before they could request to fully transition a school building or district to online learning. (July 30) 
  • Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation directing schools to create an in-person learning experience for students(July 17) 
  • Des Moines Public Schools will offer parents the choice of sending their children to in-person class or allowing them to learn online. (July 2) 
  • Iowa City Community School District officials announced guidelines for students’ and staff’s return. The guidelines include socially-distanced classroom configurations, plexiglass guards in high-density areas of the building, and required face masks or shields. (July 1) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Iowa universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here.
  • Morningside College will start classes early on August 19 in order to finish by Thanksgiving. (July 24) 
  • The Iowa Board of Regents reportedly announced that Iowa’s three public universities are aiming for “a full, normal operation” for the fall 2020 semester, which Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards said would include “in-person classes, reopening of residence halls, food service, and other campus services.” (April 25)

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