DES MOINES, Iowa. (KMTV) — With more than 21,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last week in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that she’s signed a proclamation to continue the state’s public health emergency for an additional 30 days.
The governor said a total of 1,131 Iowans are hospitalized with 89 percent ages 50 and older. This is putting a strain on the state’s healthcare systems and putting capacity at risk.
While beds are still available, staffing the facilities is becoming increasingly challenging.
“The situation has the potential to impact any Iowan who may need care for any reason,” Gov. Reynolds said.
She added that because of the high level of community spread, Iowans are vulnerable even in casual gatherings. The governor stressed that people don’t let their guards down.
New public health measures will be in place effective at midnight. Events with more than 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors will be prohibited unless attendees wear masks.
Masks will be required for personal service businesses such as salons and tattoo shops.
With indoor youth and high school sporting events only two spectators per athlete will be permitted to attend.
Reynolds added that the mask mandate in certain gatherings doesn’t apply to schools or the legislature when it stars again in January.
Additionally, there have been 24 waivers from schools to go remotely and 3 more are being reviewed. Some are from staff and student absences and others due to positivity rates.
The Iowa Department of Public Health provided the following document, outlining the changes: