Johnson County bars ordered to stay shut another week

By CBJ News Staff

Bellying up to the bar and ordering a drink is still off the table in two Iowa counties housing state public universities, with a new proclamation continuing a Public Health Disaster Emergency in Johnson and Story counties.

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation Friday extending the closure of bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, nightclubs in those two counties for an additional week, until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 4. They may continue to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off-premises, KCRG reports.

Restaurants in the two counties are still permitted to remain open but must stop selling and serving alcoholic beverages after 10 p.m.

Bars were originally closed in six counties on Aug. 27 due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases, primarily among young people. Bars in Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn, and Polk Counties were allowed to reopen on Sept. 16.

“The public health conditions in Johnson and Story counties warrant continuing additional reasonable measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” the proclamation says.

Restaurants in Johnson and Story counties, like bars and restaurants in all other counties, must also continue to follow other mitigation measures. This includes the requirements to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking, to ensure all patrons have a seat at a table or bar and consume alcohol or food while seated, and to limit congregating together closer than six feet.

Look for more coverage of the continued bar closures and their impact on bar operators in the Oct. 5 edition of the CBJ. CBJ