Governor Kim Reynolds has announced more mitigation measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and they go into effect Monday night at midnight (11/16/20). In a statement Monday, she said the healthcare system is being pushed to the brink in unsustainable ways with one of every four hospital patients having the virus in Iowa. “This isn’t about mandates, this isn’t about the government — there isn’t enough law enforcement in the country to make sure every Iowan is wearing a mask when they should, there aren’t enough sheriffs in Iowa’s 99 counties to shut down every non-compliant bar,” she said. “If Iowans don’t buy into this — we lose. Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high. So now is the time to come together for the greater good, to look out for each other — not because you’re told to, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

Starting Tuesday, people must wear masks in indoor public spaces if they are unable to social distance after 15 minutes. Reynolds said this includes state offices and buildings. She strongly encourages other businesses to follow the lead. Gatherings indoors are limited to 15 people, and gatherings outdoors are limited to 30 people. All youth and adult sports are suspended, however, high school and college sports can continue with the two spectators per participant rule and masks worn. Restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m. and masks must be worn by staff in contact with customers. The customers must wear masks unless seated at a table. Also, inpatient elective procedures are limited to 50%. Reynolds said the measures will be re-evaluated in a week and additional measures may be put in place at any time.

She closed by saying everyone is hopeful for a vaccine soon, but Iowans lose if they do not buy into these prevention efforts. Reynolds said these steps must be taken for the common good. The new proclamation is in place through December 10th.