Johnson County mayors ask residents to limit trips outside homes

Reducing spread of COVID-19 will help health care workers manage crisis, leaders say

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague gives opening remarks and shows his new scarf, made by his fianc#xe9;, during the third ann
Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague gives opening remarks and shows his new scarf, made by his fiancé, during the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Iowa City on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Johnson County mayors issued a statement Sunday urging residents to limit non-essential trips outside their homes to reduce spread of COVID-19.

“Social distancing and staying in place is, undoubtedly, the No. 1 thing that our residents can do to slow the spread and allow our health care professionals to effectively manage this crisis,” Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said in a prepared statement. “I strongly recommend that everyone limit their trips outside of their home and isolate in place as much as possible for the next two weeks.”

Teague, along with Coralville Mayor John Lundell and North Liberty Mayor Terry Donahue, said Johnson County residents should:

— Limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people and stay at least six feet away from people who aren’t living in your household.

— Consider self-isolation for 14 days after travel out of state.

— Wash hands frequently and follow a disinfection routine in homes and businesses.

— Use available telemedicine options, including calling your physician if you have flulike or upper respiratory symptoms before going to a hospital.

“As hospital resources are stressed at this critical time, it is important that the public remain calm and seek guidance from health care providers in a remote manner whenever possible,” Donahue said.

All three communities previously have taken steps to close public facilities, stop programming and public events, and limit opportunities for public interaction. Additionally, Iowa City on Sunday decided to have all employees supporting non-essential services to work from home Tuesday through April 12.


Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie issued similar advice Saturday, asking residents there to stay home except for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store.

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