Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Iowa, US, ease coronavirus disease-related restrictions in four additional counties as of Sept. 21.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 09:10 PM UTC
Alert Expires 12 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Iowa (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
As of Sept. 21, authorities in Iowa have eased business restrictions in four additional counties as part of the state's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recovery plan. Under the new directive, bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and nightclubs may open in Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn, and Polk counties, joining the rest of the state; however, such establishments will remain closed until at least Sept. 27 in Johnson and Story counties. Restaurants in these two counties may remain open but must suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages at 2200 nightly. Current guidelines also strongly encourage state residents two years of age and older to wear protective face coverings whenever they are in public settings, especially when it is not possible to social distance from others.

Otherwise, certain restrictions remain in place statewide. Businesses can operate without specific capacity limits; however, they must enforce social distancing guidelines requiring patrons to keep at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) from each other. Malls have also reopened without capacity limitations, but playgrounds remain closed. All businesses must continue to implement enhanced sanitation procedures and provide the necessary protective equipment to employees, besides ensuring social-distancing measures.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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