Reynolds closes bars as COVID numbers jump

Gov. Kim Reynolds closes bars in six counties following increase in COVID cases. CREDIT KCRG

By CBJ News Staff

Bars will be closing again in the six Iowa counties with the most virus activity beginning tonight, news partner KCRG-TV9 reports.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced she signed a new public health disaster proclamation in response to increasing COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days. Today, the state reported a new record high in daily COVID-19 cases with 1,349 cases.

In light of this and flu season coming soon, Ms. Reynolds said all bars, taverns, breweries and nightclubs will have to close in Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Story counties. Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to remain open, but must stop serving alcohol after 10 p.m.

Ms. Reynolds said the state has been able to trace the increasing cases over the last 14 days to these six counties and specifically among people in the age range of 19-24, as colleges and universities resume classes. She said that while people in this age range are not at high risk for the virus, they are spreading it and the numbers are reflecting that.

Additionally, Ms. Reynolds reminded Iowans hosting social gatherings to ensure they’re maintaining six feet of social distance.

While she did not issue a mask mandate, she said the state is strongly encouraging anyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask in public settings, especially when keeping six feet apart isn’t possible.

The new proclamation goes in effect at 5 p.m. today and remains in effect until Sept. 20.

Ms. Reynolds also said that if people simply move the parties and social gatherings to other counties, the state will be prepared to do more. •