BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DES MOINES – Most state businesses can go back to full capacity starting Friday, June 12 at 8 a.m.
At a Wednesday morning press conference from the state capital, Reynolds made the announcement and said businesses need to still adhere to six foot social distancing guidelines, while enhancing hygiene and sanitation practices.
“Eliminating capacity restrictions will allow businesses the flexibility to adjust their specific operations accordingly to best meet the needs of staff and clients,” Reynolds said.
She said the move also applies to salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, swimming pools and senior centers, casinos, racetracks, malls, venues, and other businesses the limitation applied to.
Iowa has seen more than 200,000 residents tested, or 1 of every 16 Iowans. Reynolds said since the end of April numbers have been trending down. Overall, test of the state’s residents are coming back with an 11.1% positive rate. Reynolds said even with the increased number of tests being done the positivity rate for Tuesday was 5.4%.
Iowans hospitalized with the virus stood at 245 across the state as of Tuesday with 73 in Intensive Care Units. Those numbers compare to 394 hospitalizations one month ago, 152 of whom were in ICUs.
“Changes are a result of the positive forward momentum that were generating in Iowa and we must keep it going.,” Reynolds said.
“We know COVID will remain in our state for a while, but we also know what we can do to mitigate, manage, and contain it while we safely and responsibly move forward with life.”
Iowa Department of Public Health Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati encouraged Iowans to continue to stay informed about the progress of the virus and to use good personal protective measures to help limit the spread of the virus.
The state personal protective equipment stockpile are also on the rebound according to Reynolds. She said the state has current supplies for a minimum of 14 weeks on hand, while still building regional and state stockpiles that will be capable of a 90 day supply.
Reynolds said the state’s budget is in decent shape despite the impact of the virus.
“We’re very fortunate Iowa was in a good fiscal position. Our cash reserves are full and the tax payer trust fund has some funding in it as well,” she said. “We were at a good spot to really absorb this and we didn’t have to do any cuts for the fiscal year we’re in right now.”
In Lee County, health officials have confirmed eight new cases since June 1 for a total of 35. No deaths have been reported out of Lee County to date. A marked jump has been reported in Jefferson County where 19 new cases have been reported in the last 12 days surpassing Lee County for the first time with 42 positive tests.