Emergency declaration offers relief to Iowa residents

Emergency declaration offers relief to Iowa residents

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US Virus Outbreak Iowa

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about the state's response to COVID-19 on Monday in Johnston.

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a state emergency declaration Friday designed to offer an array of relief to Iowa residents as efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pummel the economy.

The state public health emergency declaration, among other things, temporarily suspends penalties and interest on property taxes, some home evictions and certain regulation fees and penalties. It also allows bars and restaurants to sell unopened bottles of alcohol for consumption off premises.

The declaration, which takes effect immediately, runs through April 16. For that period, Iowa concealed-carry gun permits will not expire and regulations requiring in-person delivery of concealed-carry permit applications are suspended.

The declaration also relaxes transportation regulations, making it easier to transport agricultural supplies and commodities, food, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods.

On Friday, the state reported there had been one additional case of coronavirus, bringing the state total to 45.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Reynolds’ measure came as officials announced that a dental student is the first COVID-19 case reported on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

A patient seen by the student when the student was symptomatic has been notified, university officials said, as have other students with whom he came in contact.

The dentistry student doesn’t live in any residence hall and is in isolation off campus, the university said.

“The (Dental College) also disinfects all operatories, etc., after routine protocol for blood-borne pathogens and has intensified these efforts,” said a campus message sent Thursday.

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