Gov. Reynolds lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on Iowa businesses

Gov. Reynolds lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on Iowa businesses
FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds appears during a news conference in Johnston, Iowa. A new disclosure report shows an owner of a large pork production company that disproportionately benefited from an Iowa coronavirus aid program recently donated $25,000 to Reynolds' campaign last month. Mary Ann Christensen, board member of Christensen Farms and part of the family that owns the company, made the donation Dec. 29, according to the filing made public Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new public health proclamation on Friday rolling back all COVID restrictions on Iowa businesses.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, the proclamation removes mask requirements, gathering limits, and restrictions on businesses.

“The proclamation strongly encourages Iowans, businesses and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health,” said Pat Garrett, a spokesperson for the Governor’s Office.

The proclamation states that “I strongly encourage that all businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations take reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure the health of employees, patrons, and members of the public, including social distancing practices, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health” and that “This section shall not be a basis for closing or taking enforcement action against a business or other employer absent an additional specific order or directive of the Iowa Department of Public Health.”

The proclamation is set to continue until 11:59 p.m. on March 7, 2021.

As of 5:00 p.m., the Iowa Department of Public Health reports that 143,869 have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, while 80,601 have received their second dose.

The lift in restrictions comes as Iowa is ranked 48th in the country in vaccine distribution, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is worse than all other states except Idaho and Missouri.

When Reynolds sat down to speak with KCRG-TV9 in January, she admitted she was trying to get more COVID-19 vaccine to Iowa as the state ranks near the bottom in allocations from the federal government, and spoke of her frustrations with the Trump administration, which she’d long supported and campaigned for.

Over 80,600 Iowans have received their second dose of the vaccine, which is around 2.5% of the state’s population.

For more information on the COVID vaccine in Iowa, click here.

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