Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions

Halle Saldivia, Reporter

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday lifted coronavirus restrictions. Reynold’s latest health proclamation won’t require Iowans to wear masks while inside public buildings, businesses will not be required to limit the number of customers or keep them socially distanced, and no limits will be placed on the number of people who can gather in public.

Reynolds’ actions to lift restrictions comes at a time when the numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been steadily decreasing in Iowa. However, the averages remain higher than they were in early winter.

 State Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City, leader of the Iowa House Democrats, argued against with the decision, saying in a statement that “Gov. Reynolds is doubling down on her failed COVID response. It’s both reckless and tragic. This is failed leadership.”

Some praised the order. Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, said to the Des Moines Register that, “It allows us to go back to doing business at a really critical time. We are … one day before the Super Bowl, which opens up a lot of businesses for crowds to come in and safely watch the big game.”

During a weekly briefing on the state’s pandemic response, Democratic lawmakers asked Iowa Department of Public Health Director, Kelly Garcia, whether Reynolds consulted the agency before the decision to lift the restrictions. Garcia told the legislators the department was not consulted on the decision and that the governor made that decision on her own, the Democrats said.