Finkenauer calls on Reynolds to issue stay-at-home order

Finkenauer calls on Reynolds to issue stay-at-home order

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Abby Finkenauer NEW mug

Abby Finkenauer

DES MOINES — An Iowa congresswoman is calling on Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a statewide shelter-at-home order as a precaution to protect Iowans and essential workers.

After consulting with medical professionals, “especially those in the Dubuque area where we saw the first tragic passing of a coronavirus patient,” 1st District U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer asked Reynolds to issue a statewide shelter-at-home order.

Since then, two more Iowa deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, with 298 confirmed cases as of Saturday. Reynolds has repeatedly said such an order is not out of the question but not yet necessary. She and state public health officials are in daily communication with community officials “to talk them through why we do not think it is necessary to issue a shelter-in-place at this point.”

Reynolds has cited advice from the Iowa Department of Public health that “sheltering in place for two or three weeks will not cause the coronavirus to go away.”

Finkenauer, who was in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning for the House vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package, said she released the letter publicly because despite their conversations this week, the governor hasn’t taken her advice and because two more people in Northeast Iowa have died as a result of COVID-19.

“I could not sit back and not say something publicly,” Finkenauer said on a call with reporters.

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said the governor will continue to make decisions based on data and metrics from Iowa public health officials as well as input from the president’s coronavirus task force and other governors.

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