Iowa - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 121,417 (October 29)
Fatalities: 1,691 (October 29)
  • 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 the launch of the new COVID-19 Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program. The program will provide eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas, and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay as a result of a COVID-19 related loss of income. (October 9) 
  • Governor Reynolds announced FEMA approved Iowa’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. (August 17) 
  • 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:

  • Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced the launch of the Iowa County Fairs Relief Program, which would provide short-term relief to eligible county and district fairs. (October 26) 
  • Governor Reynolds announced that the Small Business Relief Program would be reopened for bars and taverns that closed as a result of the Public Health Disaster Emergency proclamation. (September 2) 
  • Governor Reynolds announced that she has allocated approximately $100 million of CARES Act relief funds for a range of agricultural programs to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, producers, and agricultural industries. (August 25) 
  • 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 new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency for another 30 days. (October 19) 
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals (DIA) updated guidance for long-term care facility visitations to comply with federal standards. (October 7) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation extends the closure of bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, night clubs in Johnson and Story counties for an additional week. (September 28) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency for another 30 days. In addition to maintaining restrictions on bars, the proclamation provides regulatory relief to school districts. (September 21) 
  • Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation reopens bars in six counties: Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn, and Polk. It also removes the restrictions on hours that alcohol may be sold in restaurants in those counties. (September 16) 



  • Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced that $26.2 million is available to districts, nonpublic schools, and colleges and universities to increase student internet connectivity. (August 11) 
  • 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 started 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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