CORONAVIRUS

Gov. Reynolds tells Iowans to 'step up' efforts to stop coronavirus spread

No mandate, but Reynolds encourages wearing face masks

Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a news conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center on April 15 in Johnston.
Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a news conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center on April 15 in Johnston. On Monday, she urged Iowans to wear face coverings, but she did not mandate them.

DES MOINES — With Iowa and other states seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday called on Iowans to “step up” their mitigation efforts that previously slowed the spread of the coronavirus and eased the rate of hospitalizations.

The governor did not mandate the wearing of masks in public but advised Iowans to voluntarily wear face coverings, observe social distancing of at least 6 feet from others, practice good personal hygiene and stay home when sick as ways to combat the virus and keep Iowa open.

Reynolds posted an online video praising Iowans for helping to achieve “significant progress” in combating the public health pandemic by making “sacrifices to do the right thing.”

“That’s why we were able to flatten the curve, open back up and get our state on the road to recovery,” the governor said. “But COVID-19 is far from over, and I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t want to reverse the progress that we’ve made since the pandemic began.”

To that end, Reynolds, called on Iowans to “step up and take personal responsibility — not because it’s mandated but because it’s the right thing to do.” She said practicing simple steps to prevent further COVID-19 spread is the “best defense” against the virus.

“So let’s step up, Iowa,” the governor said in the YouTube video. “Protecting yourself means that you’re protecting your friends, your family members, your co-workers and your fellow Iowans.

“Each and every one of us has it in our power to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s how we’ll keep Iowans safe and healthy, keep our economy up and running and keep our state moving forward. I’m confident that we can continue to do this together,” she added.

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Reynolds issued a public health disaster emergency proclamation in March to slow the viral spread by closing schools and many businesses, halting in-person religious and mass gatherings and implementing social distancing, hand-washing and other preventive steps aimed at protecting vulnerable Iowans from getting infected.

The governor has gradually lifted many of the restrictions, and the remaining provisions still in force are slated to expire July 25 unless she decides to extend or reinstate some restrictions if positive cases from extensive testing continue to rise.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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All donations are tax-deductible.