Governor opens more services in the state

Lee County sees 17th positive in last 24 hour reporting cycle

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has opened dental offices around the state effective Friday in addition to other services like campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities and medical spas.

The new order signed Wednesday, effective Friday, May 8, also allows social clubs to reopen at 50% capacity in 77 counties, provided preventative measures are kept in place including social distancing, limiting seated groups to six people or less, no self-service buffets or salad bars.

Meanwhile, the Lee County Health Department released a 17th confirmed positive in the county Wednesday afternoon. It is the first confirmed positive in four days, but the county has more than doubled its positive cases in the last 10 days.

A release from the Department of Natural Resources said state campgrounds will reopen effective Friday. DNR online reservations system will being accepting reservations at 9 a.m. Friday. DNR officials said reservations from May 8-14 will not be honored because refunds have already been issued for those dates.

“Parks staff will be closely monitoring these areas to avoid gatherings of groups larger than 10,” the release indicated More information on the guidelines can be found at the site at www.dnr.iowa.gov.

Lee County Conservation District Director Nathan Unsworth said he was surprised by the announcement.

“We were a little surprised by the Governor’s announcement. We were not expecting the Governor to open campgrounds sooner than the 15th,” he said. “Our staff will be reviewing our operations and any guidelines put out by the Iowa Department of Public Health.”

Unsworth said campers should look for an official announced about county camping activities Wednesday evening for this weekend and beyond, but campers should expect some changes.

The governor also lightened restrictions in the 22 counties that were under tighter controls, including Des Moines and Henry counties in southeast Iowa.

Fitness centers are open by appointment only and can only allow a single patron at one time. Enclosed malls are reopened but at 50% capacity with no common area seating in food courts and no play areas, with other preventative measures in place.

Most retail establishments are allowed to reopen at 50%, but the proclamation did not include restaurants and they must remain carry-out, delivery, or curbside pickup only.

The state saw 293 additional positive cases in the past 24-hour reporting cycle that ended Tuesday at 10 a.m. There were also 12 more deaths in the state bringing the total of deaths to 219.

LHCD officials are still highly recommending that residents continue to practice preventive measures to reduce transmission of COVID illness in the county by:
• Maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance apart from others when possible.
• Staying home when even mildly ill (the kind of illness that normally wouldn’t prevent you from your everyday activities)
• Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
• Consider limiting activities outside your home especially if you are older or have a chronic health condition
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Calling your medical provider first if you need medical care and notify them of your symptoms.

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