The Green Light: Gov. Reynolds lifts more restrictions statewide


Gov. Kim Reynolds. [File photo]
By: 
Tyler Anderson
The Graphic-Advocate Editor

While Iowa is adjusting to life with COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds is fast tracking a return of more businesses, along with high school athletics and activities.

In her daily press conference located at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston on Wednesday morning and officially signed in an updated proclamation on Wednesday afternoon, Reynolds granted businesses such as movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums and wedding reception venues the ability to reopen with “appropriate public health measures in place.”

Swimming pools are also given the proverbial thumbs up to reopen for the purposes of lap swimming and swimming lessons.

Bars are also slated to reopen for indoor and outdoor seating at half capacity next Thursday. Despite the scheduled reopenings and the return of summer school activities, casinos and other performance venues are to remain closed.

These reopenings will be made statewide, and made effective on Friday.

“I believe that Iowans are willing to continue to do their part, as well, so that businesses, entertainment and other activities can resume again,” Reynolds said during the press conference. “I know that many parents and student-athletes are also eager to resume summer sports. High school athletics was the logical place to start the process of bringing athletics back in season.”

Movie theaters may open back up, but must limit the number of patrons in an individual auditorium to 50 percent of its normal operating capacity. The theater also must ensure at least six feet of distance between each group or individual seated in the theater.

Also, the theater must not have any self-service of food or beverages and adhere to public health measures.

Museums, aquariums and zoos may reopen, should the establishment take reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons, along with increased hygienic practices and other public health measures.

Swimming pools are allowed to reopen in a limited capacity, for activities such as lap swimming or swimming lessons. Pools must also take measures to ensure social distancing and other public health measures.

Wedding reception venues were given the green light, as long as they adhere to keeping guests to a 50 percent capacity, limiting groups to six or less people and ensuring a distance of six feet from each group or individual. There is to be no self-service at these venues, much in line with the reopening of restaurants made on May 13.

A reception is also not in violation of the gathering requirement of 10 or less people.

The most notable move by Reynolds was bringing back summer school activities, consistent with the guidance of the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Any games or events will not be regarded as a violation of the gathering limit of 10 people.

On Wednesday afternoon, the IHSAA and IGHSAU agreed to officially resume the summer sports season of baseball and softball.

Reynolds had also allowed auctions of 25 people or less to occur, suspending a one-year temporary license for teachers, suspension of the Iowa youth survey (for sixth, eighth and 11th graders) and the suspension of penalties related to pool registration fees.

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