DES MOINES, Iowa (KMTV) — On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the state's Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation will not be extended, which will allow it to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 15.
It does not appear that the expiration will result in drastic changes, as Iowa and its health care providers will still be required by the CDC to report COVID-19 data, but data will be reported differently. Iowa's current websites, coronavirus.iowa.gov and vaccinateiowa.gov, will be decommissioned on Feb. 16, but "information will remain accessible online through other state and federal resources." The Iowa Department of Public Health will report weekly information for new positive tests, epidemiologic curve, cases by county, variants and deaths.
“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely. After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly,” stated Reynolds in a press release. “State agencies will now manage COVID-19 as part of normal daily business, and reallocate resources that have been solely dedicated to the response effort to serve other important needs for Iowans.”
There are 16 remaining provisions of the proclamation that are still current until Feb. 15, which are said to mainly focus on workforce issues.
The State Hygenic Lab will still continue to operate the Test Iowa at home program after the proclamation is set to expire, but the necessity of the program will be reassessed at a later date. Iowa will also continue to receive vaccines and federal COVID resources and funding.