DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU)–– Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a new proclamation with the State Public Health Emergency Declaration.
The new proclamation suspends elective and nonessential medical and dental procedures, extends and expands retail business closures, orders health care facilities and nursing homes to engage in advanced health care screenings, and removes additional legal barriers.
The State Public Health Emergency Declaration remains in effect until April 16.
While some health facilities may have already suspended elective services, the proclamation sets that procedures considered nonessential or elective to be suspended throughout the state starting Friday at 5 p.m. In addition to nonessential surgeries, dental services, including cosmetic and routine hygiene, will be suspended as well.
The proclamation also makes telehealth services more available by having the insurance commissioner work to help reimburse health carriers for the telehealth services.
Reynolds also modified restaurants and bars closures to the general public, extending the closures through April 7. Restaurants and bars can still serve through other means, such as carry-out or drive-through. Businesses like gyms, spas, salons tattoo establishments, theaters, and other mass gathering facilities are to remain closed until the new date.
In addition to the closure extension, Reynolds also orders nonessential retail businesses closed starting Friday at 10 a.m. and lasting through April 7. These would be facilities like bookstores, clothing stores, and florists.
The proclamation s also requires health care facilities to increase screening of employees by checking certain symptoms and to take temperatures.
Read the full proclamation by clicking here.
Watch a replay of the stream below.
The CDC said that most COVID-19 illnesses are mild, but about 16% of cases are serious. Older people or those with underlying health conditions are most at risk of developing a serious illness.
Symptoms for the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They occur 2-14 days after exposure. Anyone that develops the symptoms and has been in contact with some who has the virus or has recently traveled from where the virus is widespread is asked to see a doctor.
To help prevent the spread, people are asked to do the following:
- Wash their hands often
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home if sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Below are various health organizations with information on COVID-19.