Gov. Kim Reynolds hosted a press conference on April 27 to discuss measures in reopening the state for businesses, restaurants and retail stores.
Reynolds thanked Iowans for maintaining social distancing and making changes in their lives to adjust to the virus. “Every Iowan has a personal responsibility to do their part and these steps must and will continue to keep us on a healthy path going forward,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds talked about loosening mitigation restrictions gradually in businesses and counties where the concentration of cases is low or on a decline.
Effective May 1, in 77 counties, the following businesses can choose to reopen but comply with certain restrictions: restaurants, fitness centers and retail stores previously closed may reopen at 50 percent normal operating capacity. Enclosed malls can reopen at 50 percent capacity but play areas and common seating areas such as food courts must remain closed. Restaurants within a food court area can operate on a carry-out basis.
Social, community, recreational and sporting events will continue to be limited to 10 people. Reynolds is lifting the limit on spiritual and religious gatherings.
All other existing closures will be extended for the entire state through May 15.
There have been 349 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, making a total of 5,868 cases confirmed. The IDPH reported nine additional deaths, for a total of 127. 38,150 Iowans have been tested and 2,021 total cases have been reported recovered for a recovery rate of 34%.
The nine deaths were reported in the following counties:
- Two older adults (61-80 years) from Black Hawk County
- One elderly (81+ years) from Bremer County
- One older adult (61-80 years) from Dubuque County
- Three elderly (81+ years) from Polk County
- One elderly (81+ years) from Poweshiek County
- One elderly (81+ years) from Washington County
Reynolds said testing has expanded significantly across the state which is allowing for case investigation and tracing as well as creating a better understanding for virus activity.
Serology testing, which looks for COVID-19 antibodies, has begun to test those that have potentially already had COVID-19 but were potentially asymptomatic and have recovered.
One in every 82 Iowans have been tested for COVID-19 due to the expansion and increase of capacity in testing sites.