Governor Reynolds Closing All Bars in Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, and Three Other Counties
After a huge one-day spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, along with a continued surge in positive cases in Iowans in their late teens and early 20s, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced all bars in six counties will be required to close.
Over the 24-hour period from 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, through 10 a.m. this morning, the state had 1,475 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Eighteen additional deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,061, according to KCCI.
During a morning press conference, Governor Reynolds announced the trajectory of the virus in the state of Iowa is beginning to "become a workforce issue" and that "we're concerned that it will start to impact the staffing in our healthcare systems and potentially our schools."
Reynolds said that 23 percent of all positive COVID cases in the state over the last week have been from the 19 to 24-year-old group. She then revealed she has signed a new Public Health Disaster Proclamation that closes bars in six of Iowa's 99 counties.
The proclamation includes the closure of all bars, taverns, nightclubs, and breweries in Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Story counties at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, August 27. It will be in effect through Sunday, September 20. Reynolds said restaurants may remain open but cannot sell alcohol after 10 p.m. daily.
Reynolds says that 58 percent of all positive cases in Johnson County in the last two weeks have been among 19 to 24-year-olds. That percentage is 69 percent over the last seven days. In Story County, the percentages are 67 percent (last 14 days) and 74 percent (last seven days).
Governor Reynolds says she is "strongly encouraging" all Iowans two-years-old and older to wear masks or facial coverings in public settings. You can watch her entire press conference below and see the full proclamation HERE.