DES MOINES, Iowa – On Monday, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, sent a letter to Gov. Kim Reynolds urging her to issue a “stay-at-home” order to minimize the predicted “spike” in COVID-19 cases.
In her letter, Congresswoman Axne cites recent predictions by the Iowa Department of Public Health of a nearing first ‘peak’ of COVID-19 cases and the extension of nationwide social distancing guidance as reasons for needing a new statewide mandate.
“A ‘peak’ in cases coming in a matter of weeks confirms the necessity of more compulsory restrictions,” Axne wrote. “It is time to implement a statewide stay-at-home order.”
Axne says she recognizes the steps taken by Governor Reynolds and the State of Iowa to slow the spread of coronavirus in Iowa, but believes that additional measures should be considered as Iowa’s health systems begin to feel the increased strain of the outbreak.
“You and I are both fully aware of the stories of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical medical supplies in our state,” she wrote. “If the state’s public health experts are predicting an imminent spike already, why then would we not consider a step that would keep all but the most essential workers at home to avoid deepening these shortages over the next month?”
Reynolds on Friday pushed back on calls for a “shelter-in-place” order saying that the effect of her public health emergency declaration was virtually the same as many states who issued a shelter-in-place order.
“What else would they have us do that we’re not already doing? Because, again, I’ll go back to the example in some of the other states when they issue a shelter in place. And by the time they account for all of their essential workforce, they’ve excluded almost 80% of the workforce in their state. And that’s the state of Minnesota that doesn’t qualify for the shelter in place. So I believe Iowans don’t need an order to do the right thing. I believe they know what they need to do. And again, if they follow through, stay home when they’re sick, practice proper hygiene, only go out when you need to, check on those loved ones that are vulnerable to make sure that they have the supplies that they need. We will get through this sooner rather than later,” she stated during Friday’s press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa.
Read Axne’s letter below: