DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds announced more business reopenings coming Friday as well as next week, saying she trusted Iowans to remain socially distant as the case rate statewide dropped.
Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums and wedding reception venues are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity and with other restrictions starting Friday, the governor announced.
Swimming pools will also be able to reopen Friday, but for lap swimming and lessons only, the governor said.
Bars will be permitted to reopen May 28 under similar restrictions, the governor added.
“We have to move forward,” the governor said in announcing the reopenings. “We have to recognize the fact that the virus is in our communities, and we have to navigate that until a vaccine is discovered.”
And on June 1, Reynolds said schools will be permitted to resume “school-sponsored activities and learning,” including high school baseball and softball.
“I know that many parents and youth athletes are also eager to resume summer sports,” Reynolds said, noting those sports were “the logical place to start.”
Casinos and amusement parks were not among those businesses allowed to reopen, though Reynolds said she was in talks with those industries about how to reopen safely.
“We’ve got to learn to live with this; it is not going away,” she said of coronavirus.
As of Wednesday at 10 a.m., the state recorded 237 new cases, which continued a downward trend. But the Iowa Department of Public Health also recorded 14 new deaths, a steady trend.
“It’s up to Iowans to decide when they’re ready to resume normal activity,” Reynolds said. “But it will take all of us to be responsible.”
Iowa remained 14th in the nation among all 50 states and the District of Columbia for cases per capita. It moved up to 23rd in deaths per capita, from yesterday’s ranking of 24th.
Adding Black Hawk County’s totals to the state’s, 15,759 people in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties have tested positive for coronavirus, or 0.5% of the state’s population. Only Decatur County along the Missouri border has no positive cases recorded.
There are now 381 deaths in 33 counties, and around 2.4% of Iowans who have tested positive for coronavirus have died, with 88% of those over the age of 61.
The state remained at 37 long-term care facility outbreaks in 16 counties, adding 45 cases and six deaths among residents and staff for a total of 1,491 cases and 210 deaths.
Five Iowa counties report an infection rate over 2%: Crawford, Louisa, Marshall, Tama and Woodbury counties. Another three are over 1%: Black Hawk, Muscatine and Wapello counties.
Nine counties have had 10 or more COVID-19 deaths: Black Hawk, Dallas, Dubuque, Jasper, Linn, Muscatine, Polk, Tama and Woodbury counties.
The state has a 14.1% positive test rate, lower than Tuesday’s 14.3%. The World Health Organization recommends a positive test rate of 10% or less as an adequate testing rate.
The Black Hawk County Health Department reported 19 more cases and two more deaths for a total of 1,862 cases and 34 deaths Tuesday.
The county has four long-term care facility outbreaks: Harmony House remained at 89 cases among residents and staff; Friendship Village added three cases for 46 cases; Pillar of the Cedar Valley added 14 cases for a total of 20 cases, and NewAldaya Lifescapes remained at 13 cases.
Allamakee County added one case Wednesday for a total of 116 cases and four deaths.
Bremer County remained at 65 cases and five deaths. The county has one long-term care outbreak — Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community has had 30 cases — but administrators there say they haven’t had any new cases and no “active” cases since May 14.
Buchanan County added two cases for a total of 28 cases.
Chickasaw added one case for a total of eight cases.
Tama County added five cases and three deaths for a total of 367 cases and 21 deaths. The county has two long-term care outbreaks: Pinnacle Estates of Toledo remained at 52 cases, and Westbrook Acres added two cases for a total of 34 cases.
Winneshiek County added one case for a total of 21 cases.
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