This week the governor announced some restrictions would be lifted for counties in Iowa
experiencing decreasing or little to no COVID-19 activity. Starting tomorrow May 1, restaurants,
fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks, and some retail establishments are allowed to reopen at
half normal operating capacity, if they can still follow public health measures.
This policy applies to all counties except the county I represent Polk, Allamakee, Benton, Black
Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa,
Marshall, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington, and Woodbury counties.
Statewide religious and spiritual gatherings will be allowed, if they can maintain social distancing
guidelines and take measures to protect public health. Additionally, farmers markets will be
allowed to open to sell farm products or food, again, as long as they can implement reasonable
social distancing and public health measures. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land
Stewardship (IDALS) issued guidance for Iowa farmers markets with additional protective
measures, such as prohibiting from anyone with a fever or illness in the last three days from
entering farmers markets, providing easy access to hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations, and
encouraging online ordering when possible.
All other closures, including in the above counties, will continue until May 15.
The new proclamation from the governor is not a requirement that these establishments have to
open. It is simply giving them, and all Iowans, the option and freedom to do so, while still protecting
their health. The state continues to expand testing and data will continue to be monitored so the
best decisions can be made to protect not just the health of Iowans, but also their livelihoods. As
more data is collected and more Iowans get tested for COVID-19, we will be able to know more
about how we can safely and responsibly continue to reopen the state. I urge you to keep washing
your hands often, and adhering to social distancing practices as much as you are able. As long as
each of us continues to be responsible about the actions we take each day, we will be able to get
back to a sense of normalcy sooner rather than later.
Throughout this pandemic, the governor has been working to strike a balance between protecting
Iowans and keeping as much of our state working as possible. Meat production facilities are an
indispensable part of the food supply chain as Iowa works to provide affordable food to the world.
Shutting down these plants has a major impact across our economy. This impact is not limited just
to farmers – it affects everyone. If the plants cannot run, livestock cannot be processed and farmers
may be forced into euthanizing some of their livestock. This reduces the supply of food, increasing
prices in the coming months, and make it even more difficult for people to afford food in an
uncertain economy, most significantly impacting lower-income Iowans and lower-income
Just as important as limiting the closures of those facilities is ensuring the safety of the workers and
doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Public health officials have been
working tirelessly to test impacted workers and ensure they have access to the care they need.
THANKS SO MUCH to our doctors, nurses, health care staff, and first responders working around
the clock to help those patients afflicted with this virus, and doing what they can to
slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state!!!! Plus, all who are working in the food industry, including
all working in our grocery stores!
I would encourage all Iowans to support our non-profits, a great local example is Endow Urbandale
who have started an emergency relief fund drive. Their web page address:
Very sorry to report but all the other legislative forums have been cancelled due to the COVID19
Virus. Please feel free to contact me via email which is listed below.