Governor announces some openings in Humboldt County

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced this morning (Monday) that restaurants, fitness centers, libraries and most retail stores may reopen May 1 in 77 Iowa counties, including Humboldt County.
All counties in northwest and western Iowa are included, with the exception of Woodbury County, which has 495 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The remainder of the 22 counties not being allowed to open such businesses are mostly in east central and eastern Iowa, along with Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek and Dallas counties in central Iowa. Reynolds said those counties will remain under closing restrictions until May 15.
Reynolds said there will be conditions for restaurants and businesses to begin opening. She said businesses will be required to follow social distancing and Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines and said such businesses can only be at 50 percent of the establishment’s capacity. For restaurants, no group of customers seated together can be larger than six and each group or individual customer must be seated at least six feet apart. Also, the restaurant must not have any self-service food or beverage provided, including buffets and salad bars.
The proclamation issued Monday lifts restrictions on religious and spiritual gatherings, so long as churches and other such gatherings implement reasonable public health measures.
In Humboldt and other opened counties, the proclamation will continue to impact the closing of bars, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, social and fraternal clubs, senior citizens centers, amusement areas (such as bowling alleys and bingo halls), skating rinks and skate parks and playgrounds, campgrounds, salons, barbershops and medical spas, tanning facilities, tattoo parlors, message therapy establishments and door-to-door sales and solicitations.
Reynolds reported 349 new COVID-19 cases in the past day, bringing the statewide total to 5,868 as of Monday. Nine additional deaths from the disease were also reported on Monday, bringing the total to 127.
Reynolds reported that one in every 82 Iowans have been tested for the disease. She said the state is significantly expanding its testing capabilities and is started to conduct serology testing to determine citizens who have had the virus and recovered.
“We must learn to live with COVID-19 without letting it govern our lives,” Reynolds said.
“We are gradually transitioning from a mitigation strategy to one of containing and managing. We encourage all Iowans to continue to exercise personal responsibility and to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus,” the governor said.
She said public health measures to curb the spread of the disease are working and she implored the public to continue such practices.
Read more about this and other stories in this week's Humboldt Independent newspaper.

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