Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a news conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, IA, on Monday, April 6, 2020. (Photo Credit: Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday ordered more businesses and gathering areas in Iowa closed, expanding her public health emergency proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She announced the new closures during a press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa.

The governor’s proclamation now orders the following closed until April 30:

  • Malls 
  • Tobacco or vaping stores
  • Toy, gaming, music, instrument, movie, or adult entertainment stores
  • Social and fraternal clubs, including those at golf courses 
  • Bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, and amusement parks
  • Museums, libraries, aquariums, and zoos
  • Race tracks and speedway.
  • Roller or ice skating rinks and skate parks
  • Outdoor or indoor playgrounds or children’s play centers
  • Campgrounds

Unsolicited door-to-door sales are prohibited. Parks are still open for public use.

Reynolds emphasized that her order will be enforced.

“All of the closures and restriction restrictions outlined in the disaster emergency proclamations will be enforced, specifically, the limitation on social gatherings,” she said.

Steven Bayens, the Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said that Reynolds was issuing guidance regarding the enforcement of the proclamation restrictions to law enforcement.

He encouraged Iowans to take responsibility for themselves, so law enforcement won’t have to intervene.

“As the governor mentioned, violation of these orders could result in the filing of simple misdemeanor charges. But worse, your actions may needlessly place Iowans at risk. Law enforcement has no desire to cite or arrest anyone. Most Iowans are being responsible and doing their part. It is only a small segment that is throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the limitations on social gatherings. That small segment, however, can have an enormous impact on public health. As a result, law enforcement will take reasoned and measured steps if we are forced to do so,” Bayens said.

“Law enforcement is asking Iowans to take their individual responsibilities seriously and police themselves so we can conserve our law enforcement resources for those who truly need it,” he added.

Bayens said law enforcement would seek to educate Iowans and ask groups larger than ten to disburse before they would file charges. 

“I cannot stress this enough that every Iowan has the ability and responsibility to do their part and slowing the spread of this virus. I would ask Iowans to own their behaviors and be part of the solution rather than the problem,” he said.

Reynolds concurred with Bayens.

“You know, I believe Iowans care about doing the right thing for the greater good. And I believe we all want to protect the most vulnerable among us and safeguard our health care providers and essential workers who are the heroes during this uncertain time. I believe that most Iowans are being responsible, but I need every island to take responsibility for their health and the health of others,” she said.

Reynolds urged Iowans to stay home if possible.

“This week is critical. Stay home. The best way to avoid being exposed to the virus or exposing others is to stay home as much as possible. Leave home only for essential errands like getting groceries necessary supplies for medicine needs. Send only one person from your household and go to as few places as possible. Practice social distancing,” she said.

Reynolds also encouraged Iowans to go outside for their physical and social wellbeing but to practice social distancing and avoid groups of more than ten people. She also said that those who have to work at a physical location and can’t work from home should also exercise social distancing, practice good hygiene, and to disinfect their workspaces.

The public health emergency declaration already includes the following restrictions and closures:

  • Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited.
  • Restaurants and bars limited to carry out.
  • Fitness centers
  • Swimming pools
  • Salons
  • Medical spas
  • Barbershops
  • Tattoo establishments
  • Tanning facilities
  • Massage therapy establishments
  • Theaters: All theaters or other performance venues at which live performances or motion pictures are shown shall continue to be closed.
  • Casinos and gaming facilities
  • Other nonessential retail establishments outlined in the proclamation: Bookstores; clothing stores; shoe stores; jewelry stores; luggage stores; cosmetic, beauty, or perfume stores; florists; and furniture and home furnishing stores shall continue to be closed. These establishments may still serve the public through online or telephone sales, delivery, or curbside pick-up. This closure order does not affect other retail establishments, such as discount stores, grocery stores, or pharmacies that sell these goods in addition to other essential food, medical supplies, and household goods.
  • Senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities are closed.
  • Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than ten people are prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers
  • Livestock auctions of food animals with more than 25 people and all other auctions with more than ten people are prohibited.

Read her declaration:

Listen to the press conference:

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