DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa residents will be allowed to resume dental appointments as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made more moves Wednesday to ease restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Besides allowing dental procedures statewide, Reynolds also allowed public and private campgrounds to reopen, ended closure orders for tanning facilities and made clear that drive-in movie theaters were allowed to operate. The changes will be effective Friday morning.
Reynolds signed her proclamation on a day when the state reported 12 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the state’s total to 219.
The Iowa Department of Public Health also announced another 293 cases of COVID-19, the disease cause by the coronavirus. There have been 10,404 cases confirmed in the state out of more than 63,000 people tested, according to the state’s online coronavirus tracking dashboard.
The increases were announced on the same day that Reynolds was in Washington to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss Iowa’s strategy to combat the spread of the virus and to thank the administration for federal help to that end.
Reynolds also discussed Iowa’s response to outbreaks at some of the state’s meat processing plants, where employees often work shoulder-to-shoulder.
On Tuesday, state officials announced that nearly 1,400 workers at three Tyson Foods pork processing plants in Iowa had tested positive for the virus.
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In her proclamation, Reynolds also reopened fitness centers, malls and other retail establishments effective Friday in 77 counties while maintaining restrictions in 22 counties, including most of the state’s urban areas. Businesses allowed to open must take measures to ensure social distancing, and retail establishments must ensure the number of customers doesn’t top 50% of the legal occupancy capacity.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.
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