Iowa - COVID-19 Covered

Iowa

Total Cases: 19,244 (May 31)
Tests Administered: 150,423 (May 30)
Fatalities: 531 (May 31)
Testing:
  • Governor Reynolds reportedly announced that it will open a “unique” testing location will today in West Burlington in partnership with Great River Health. (May 27)
  • Governor Reynolds’ office announced that new testing locations will open in Marshalltown, Sioux Center, and Council Bluffs next week. (May 22)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that, through Test Iowa, COVID-19 testing is available to all Iowans. (May 21)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that the state updated its dashboard on coronavirus.iowa.gov. Among several changes, Iowans will now be able to view case numbers in real time. (May 18)
  • Governor Reynolds announced the state will update its COVID-19 website based on feedback from Iowans. According to Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health Sarah Reisetter, the state expects the website to be updated in a “week or so.” (May 14)
  • Governor Reynolds reportedly announced that Test Iowa’s equipment had been validated, which will allow the state to conduct 5,000 tests per day. (May 14)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that the state launched the Test Iowa Initiative, a partnership with Nomi Health (with a Nomi subsidiary, Domo) that will expand Iowa’s testing capacity. (April 21)
    • Governor Reynolds announced that this partnership will allow the state to test an additional 3,000 people per day. (April 23)
  • Governor Reynolds’ office announced that the state launched an updated dashboard on coronavirus.iowa.gov, which will track cases, deaths, and tests conducted by county. (April 14)
  • The state government is reportedly allowing medical facilities to use past-due facemasks, wear the same medical equipment between patients, and discharge COVID patients after they become stable. (April 10)
  • Iowa has created a hotline for COVID-19 questions. Iowans may call 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431. (March 31)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

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 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)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that will resume certain elective procedures on April 27, allowing farmers markets to open with limited hours and proper safety measures, and relaxing regulations for financial assistance for veterans, EMS providers, and out-of-state telehealth providers, among other provisions. (April 24)
  • Governor Reynolds signed an additional proclamation to continue the state’s Public Health Emergency until April 30. (April 6)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that extended the state’s Public Health Emergency Declaration, which continued closings for restaurants and bars, fitness centers, swimming pools, salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers, and adult daycare facilities. (April 2)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that extended and expanded retail business closings until 11:59PM on April 7, among other provisions. Specifically, the proclamation extended closings for restaurants and bars, fitness centers, swimming pools, salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers, and adult daycare facilities. (March 26)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that closed all bookstores, clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, beauty stores, florists, and furniture and home furnishing stores. (March 26)
  • Governor Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency that closed all fitness centers, health clubs, spas, gyms, aquatic centers, theaters, event venues, casinos, gaming facilities, adult day care facilities, and senior citizen centers. (March 17)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • 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)
  • Governor Reynolds, House Speaker Pat Grassley, and Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver announced that they requested that the Revenue Estimating Conference meet prior to the reconvening of the state’s legislature. Among other reasons, Governor Reynolds argued that the Conference should meet to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s economy. (May 14)
  • Governor Reynolds reportedly announced that the state can move from concentrating on mitigation strategies to focusing on reducing the pandemic’s impact on residents. (May 7)
  • The US Housing and Urban Development reportedly announced that $1.2 million has been allocated for Iowans residing in low-income housing. (May 1)
  • Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend reportedly announced that, per the federal CARES Act, residents currently getting unemployment benefits will receive an additional $600 starting this week. (April 14)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that she was informed by FEMA that Iowa will be reimbursed $44 million for COVID-19-related expenses. (April 4)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that she appointed Greg Samorajski CEO of Iowa Public Employee Retirement System. (March 31)
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health announced that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children will continue to operate for all new and current participants. (March 31)
  • Governor Reynolds has suspended foreclosures on residential, commercial, and agriculture properties. (March 22)

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Reynolds, along with US Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence requesting resources for Iowa pork producers impacted by the pandemic. (April 27)
  • 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 announced that President Trump approved the state’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, which removed the “$5 million cap on federal funds as well as making available the Community Disaster Loan program.” (March 25)
  • Governor Reynolds has announced that Iowa small businesses can apply for up to $25,000 in state grants during the pandemic. (March 23)
  • The US Small Business Administration has declared Iowa a disaster zone, allowing businesses impacted by COVID-19 to apply for loans. (March 21)
  • The Iowa Economic Development Authority started collecting disaster relief applications from Iowa businesses. (March 17)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • 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 announced that on Wednesday, May 20, she will release more information regarding additional ways she plans to reopen the state’s economy. (May 19)
  • 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 said that she will announce how the state will continue to reduce restrictions to help reopen its economy on Tuesday, May 12. (May 11)
    • Governor Reynolds said that she will postpone the announcement to Wednesday, May 13. (May 12)
  • 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% maximum and keeping common areas closed. (May 6)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that “Restrictions will begin to be eased in counties where virus activity is low or where there is none at all.” (April 30)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that reopened restaurants, gyms, malls, libraries, racetracks, and retail businesses with certain social distancing guidelines – such as patrons keeping six feet apart and limiting capacity – in 77 Iowa counties. The proclamation extended closures of bars, theaters, casinos, social clubs, senior centers, amusement parks, museums, skating rinks and parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, swimming pools, salons, barbers, medical spas, tattoo shops, tanning salons, massage therapy businesses, ad door-to-door sales until May 16, 2020. (April 27)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that Iowans may register in favor or opposition to a statewide shelter-in-place by calling 515-281-5211, pressing “1,” and then pressing “1” or “2” to vote on the proposal. Callers may also leave messages to voice their opinion. (April 15)
  • No order has been issued to date, but Governor Reynolds has instructed Iowans to “Leave home only for some purposes like getting groceries, necessary supplies or medical need.” (April 1)

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The Iowa Legislative Council unanimously voted to further suspend Iowa’s legislative session until at least May 15. (April 29)
  • Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has recommended Iowans vote by mail in the state’s June 2 primary election. (April 22)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the state’s Public Health Emergency Declaration, which limited gatherings in RMCC Region 6 to only those who live in the same house, continued requiring Iowans to stay six feet apart, and mandated that employers must take steps to institute telework practices for employees. (April 16)
  • The Iowa Supreme Court suspended all grand jury hearings and criminal jury trials until at least July 13 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (April 5)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that extended the state’s Public Health Emergency Declaration, which continued the state’s 10-person maximum for mass gatherings until April 30. (April 2)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation extended the state’s 10-person maximum for mass gatherings until 11:59PM on April 7. (March 26)
  • Governor Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, which stipulated, “Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.” (March 17)

Delivery Services:

  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that continued the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, allowing bars and restaurants to continue operating carry-out or delivery of alcoholic beverages through April 7. (March 31)
  • Governor Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency that closed all bars and restaurants, with the exception of “food and beverages may be sold if such food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as on a carry-out or drive-through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.” (March 17)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that suspended regulations that prevented school districts from beginning the school calendar prior to August 23, pending the school districts adopt “a calendar as part of its Return to Learn Plan submitted to the Iowa Department of Education that ensures that any instructional time scheduled before August 23, 2020, is in excess of the minimum instructional time of one hundred eights days or one thousand eighty hours.” (May 6)
  • Des Moines Public Schools announced that it will hold commencement ceremonies virtually. (May 1)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that closed all public and “nonpublic” schools for the rest of the school year and waived state instructional time requirements, among other provisions. (April 27)
  • Governor Reynolds announced that all Iowa school districts and nonpublic schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. (April 17)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that suspended curriculum and course completion standards and requirements for high school graduation. (April 10)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that extended the state’s Public Health Emergency Declaration and continued school closures until April 30. (April 2)
  • Governor Reynolds announced she would sign legislation waiving four weeks from the state’s school instructional requirements. (March 16)

State Higher Education:

  • 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)
  • Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation that waived contact-hour requirements for community college instruction. (April 10)
  • The University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and Simpson College have closed dorms, cancelled spring commencements, and have moved classes to e-learning for the remainder of the school year. (March 18)

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com