DES MOINES — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency for another 30 days. The proclamation imposes a number of additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new measures became effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2020.
The proclamation continues the requirements that those attending any social, community, recreational, leisure or sporting gathering must maintain six feet distancing from other groups. But it now also requires that those groups are limited to eight people unless the entire group is from the same household. Additionally, all these gatherings that occur indoors with more than 25 people, or outdoors with more than 100 people, are prohibited unless all participants over two years old wear masks except when eating and drinking.
In addition to these distancing and masking requirements, at an indoor youth sporting or recreational gathering, only two spectators are permitted for each youth athlete.
Customers and employees are also now required to wear masks at salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities and other establishments providing personal services.
The proclamation also states “I continue to strongly encourage all Iowans two or older to wear a mask or other face covering when in public settings, especially in circumstances when it is not possible to remain six feet away from others outside their household, unless it is unsafe to do so because of health or disability.”
Bars and restaurants continue to be required 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. And a group seated together is now limited to eight people unless the entire group is from the same household.
Bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, and children’s play centers are now required to ensure that groups and individuals remain six feet apart at the establishment. And groups at those establishments must also be limited to eight people unless the entire group is from the same household.
In order to discourage any unnecessary gathering in workplace settings, the proclamation also orders all employers to evaluate whether any more of their employees can feasibly work remotely and to the extent reasonable, shall take steps to enable such employees to work from home.
And the proclamation strongly encourages “all Iowans to consider how their choice to adhere to public health mitigation strategies impacts the spread of COVID-19 in their family and community. Specifically, I strongly encourage Iowans to consider avoiding events not adhering to social distancing and mask recommendations and thereby considered high risk, including but not limited to weddings, funerals, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, conventions, indoor entertainment, spectator sports, private parties, tailgating, and vacationing.”
Finally, the proclamation also again extends the suspension of weight limits for transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities on state highways from the fall harvest. And it extends many of the previously issued regulatory relief measures necessary to respond to this public health disaster, including those related to healthcare, professional licensure, educational workforce, and expirations of driver’s licenses.
The proclamation now remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10.