JOHNSTON — Gov. Kim Reynolds said she expects to spell out ways Tuesday of easing more restrictions on Iowans — ordered in March to slow community spread of the coronavirus — beginning later this week.
The governor pointed to positive signs, notably in Eastern Iowa, where she said the surge in positive COVID-19 test results has stabilized and started to decline, as indicators the limitations could be further relaxed when her current order expires Friday.
“I’ve been really impressed,” Reynolds told reporters during Monday’s briefing at the state’s emergency operations center. “We can continue, I think, to lessen the restrictions and open up our state and start to begin in a very thoughtful, safe and purposeful way to continue to reopen our economy.”
At the start of May, Reynolds relaxed her earlier closing orders for restaurants, malls, fitness centers and other businesses in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties but kept restrictions in place in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington and Woodbury counties. Then last week, she said dentists could resume providing services, and campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities and medical spas all could reopen statewide and malls and retail stores in the 22 counties where coronavirus has been more widespread could reopen provided they still practice social distancing and operate at no more than half capacity. She allowed fitness centers to operate on an appointment basis only.