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Iowa: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

IOWA

February 8, 2021:

On February 5, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency that relaxes the public health measures in effect under previous Proclamations. Effective February 7, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. through March 7, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., masks and social distancing are no longer required at gatherings of any size, whether indoor or outdoor, including sporting and recreational gatherings, religious gatherings, restaurants and bars, fitness centers, casinos and gaming facilities, salons, arcades, theaters, race tracks, malls, and other establishments. Additionally, restrictions applicable to nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures have been lifted. All regulatory relief measures are extended until the expiration of the Proclamation.

(City of Des Moines): On February 6, 2021, Mayor Cownie announced that despite the lifting of the state mask mandate, in accordance with the City of Des Moines August 2020 Proclamation, face coverings remain mandatory in public places throughout the City wherever proper social distancing cannot be maintained.

(Linn County): On February 8, 2021, Linn County announced that despite the lifting of the state mask mandate, in accordance with the November 2020 Resolution Approving the Linn County Board of Health Face Covering Regulation, face masks remain mandatory in public places throughout Linn County whenever 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. The mask mandate applies to incorporated and unincorporated areas and areas whether municipalities have not taken action.

January 25, 2021:

On January 22, Governor Reynolds announced the reallocation of $17 million in relief funds that have been made available to local governments for direct expenses incurred in response to COVID-19. The funds will now be allocated at the county level, rather than the city level to simplify the administration of distribution. Counties do not need to reapply for funds as a result of the reallocation. The new allocation of funds by county can be found here.

Additionally, Iowa Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) has announced that Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations will begin on February 1, 2021. Due to the short supply of vaccines, IDPH has implemented a tiered prioritization of Phase 1B populations. Phase 1B vaccinations will be given to persons aged 65 years or older (who may receive the vaccine without regard to whether they belong to any tier) and certain high-risk persons in the following order:

  • Tier 1: first responders (including firefighters police officer, and child welfare social workers), PK-12 staff, and early education and childcare workers
  • Tier 2: frontline essential workers in food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing sectors who live or work in non-social distanced settings, and individuals with disabilities living in home settings and their direct care staff
  • Tier 3: staff and individuals living in congregate settings not covered by a previous Phase or Tier (excepting college dormitories), and government officials and staff engaged in business at the State Capitol
  • Tier 4: inspectors responsible for health, life, and safety
  • Tier 5: correctional facility staff and incarcerated individuals

January 12, 2021:

On January 7, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continuing the public health disaster emergency and amending the existing health measures.

The following measures are effective January 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Spectator limits for sporting and recreational gatherings are lifted.
  • The suspension of regulations requiring in-person clinical supervision for license as a marital and family therapist or mental health counselor is lifted.
  • The suspension of regulations requiring certain beer and wine permit holders to report the amount of beer and wine sold and pay taxes before the 10th of each month is lifted.
  • The suspension of the regulation requiring persons to timely renew their driver’s licenses and allowing persons to operate a motor vehicle with an expired driver’s license is lifted.

All other restrictions not affected by this Proclamation remain in place and are effective through February 6, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Additionally, Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council has announced COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered in the following phases:

  • Phase 1a: Healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
  • Phase 1b: persons 75 years; older or populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness, including inspectors responsible for health, life, and safety and government officials and staff, with 50% of the vaccine allocation dedicated to priority age populations and individuals of all ages with co-morbidities and 50% of the vaccine allocation dedicated to the populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness.
  • Phase 2 and Phase 3 priorities are forthcoming.

December 16, 2020:

On December 16, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continuing the public health disaster emergency and amending the existing health measures.

The following measures are effective December 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • All participants at social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events, including wedding and funeral receptions, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and other nonessential gatherings of more than 10 people must maintain at least six feet of physical distance between each group of individual attending alone and the gathering organizer must implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19
  • Revised the restrictions applicable to sporting and recreational gatherings to allow for more than 2 spectators for each athlete, performer, competitor, staff member, and other organizer staff that participates in the gathering if the spectators are all from the same household
  • Lifts some of the operating hours restrictions and prohibitions against private gatherings applicable to restaurants and other social events or other gatherings
  • Lifts the restriction requiring that the total number of medical/surgical and observational beds used for an in-patient nonessential surgery or procedure not exceed 75% of the number of such beds that were used on average during the month of September 2020

All other restrictions not affected by this Proclamation remain in place and are effective through January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

December 10, 2020:

On December 9, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continuing the public health disaster emergency and implementing additional health measures.

The new measures are effective December 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through December 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and amend the existing Proclamation as follows:

  • Revises the restrictions applicable to sporting and recreational gatherings to allow for up to 2 spectators for each cheerleader, pep band member, and other organizer staff that participates in the gathering
  • Permits restaurants, bars, and other dining establishes to reopen for on-premises consumption at 4:00 a.m. each day rather than the previously allowed 6:00 a.m.
  • Requires theater and performance venues to comply with the requirements of bars and restaurants if the establishment provides on-premise food and beverage service
  • Temporarily suspends the regulations limiting compensation to a school board member if the member obtains part-time or temporary employment as a substitute employee, such as a substitute teacher
  • Temporarily suspends the requirement that requires an in-person DHS hearing at the request of an appellant as long as the hearing may be conducted by remote means and no federal law requires an in-person hearing

All other restrictions related to gatherings and reopening of businesses and establishments are extended through December 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. The remainder of the existing measures are extended through January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

December 2, 2020:

On December 2, Governor Reynolds announced the launch of the Iowa Arts and Cultural Recovery Program, which will provide grants to arts venues, cultural organizations, and individual artists who have lost significant business of income due to the pandemic. Nonprofit cultural organizations, live music venues, and government owned cultural venues may be awarded $1,500 to $250,000, and individual artists may be awarded $500 to $5,000. Award amounts will be capped at 50% of total eligible revenue losses and expenses.

Grant funds must be used to cover lost revenue and/or necessary expenses incurred due to the COVID–19 public health emergency for which other federal, state, local, or private relief funding has not already been received, and for State or government entities, the expense must not have been accounted for in the applicant’s most recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020. Grant funds must be spent on eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

Entity applicants must (i) be registered to do business in the State of Iowa with the Secretary of State’s Office, (ii) have been in existence and offering programming accessible to the public since March 1, 2019, and (iii) have annual operating expenses of $10,000 or more for the most recent fiscal year, in addition to the follow applicant-specific requirements:

Nonprofit Cultural Organization

  • located in Iowa and incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act and hold federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status; and
  • have an arts, humanities, or interpretative sciences focused mission statement.

Live Music Venue

  • own, rent, or lease a physical space in Iowa with defined areas for performers and audience members;
  • charge a fee to attend live music performances through ticketing or entrance fee;
  • market specific live music acts through print, digital and/or social media; and
  • earn substantial revenue from ticketing and entrance fees charged, as well as food, beverage and merchandise sold, to attendees of live music performances.

Government Owned Cultural Venues

  • located in Iowa; and
  • own the cultural venue.

To be eligible for a grant, an individual Iowa artist must (i) be a legal, current resident of Iowa, (ii) be 21 years of age or older, (iii) maintain a business that is physically located in Iowa, and (iv) have incurred substantial financial loss from cancellations, closures and/or decreased customer demand as a result of COVID-19.

Program FAQs can be found here. Additionally, the Iowa Arts Council will host two one-hour zoom webinars on December 4, 2020 to further explain the application guidelines. The first webinar will take place at 10:00 a.m. and is intended for organizations and music venues. The second webinar will take place at 2:00 p.m. and is intended for individual artists.

Applications will be accepted from December 2, 2020 until December 11, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and applications can be found here and application decisions will be made by December 30, 2020.

November 18, 2020:

On November 18, Governor Reynolds announced an additional allocation of funds to the Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program to support Iowa renters and homeowners at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. The program provides up to $3,200 in rental assistance or up to $3,600 in mortgage assistance. To be eligible to receive assistance under the program, the applicant must:

  1. Be an Iowa renter or homeowner;
  2. Be at risk of eviction or foreclosure at the applicant’s primary residence due to a documented COVID-19 related loss of income on or after March 17, 2020; and
  3. Have an annual income that is 80% or less of the median family income at the time of the application, based on county of residence and household size.

Applications will be accepted through December 4, 2020 on a first come, first ready to proceed basis until all funds have been exhausted. Once an application is approved and the landlord verification is received, a single, one-time payment will be issued directly to the landlord or mortgage servicer. Eligible residents may apply for the Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program here.

Additionally, the deadline to apply for the Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program has been extended to December 4, 2020. The program provides eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas, and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. To be eligible to receive utility assistance under the program, the applicant must have:

  1. A primary Iowa residence (whether owned or lease) with active residential utility accounts in the applicant’s name;
  2. An unpaid utility bill balance or have previously entered into a payment plan with their utility provider;
  3. An annual income that is 80% or less of the median family income, based on county of residence and household size; and
  4. Experienced a COVID-19 loss of income (job loss, reduction in hours, reduction in pay) on or after March 17, 2020 that resulted in hardship in paying bills for electric, natural gas, and/or water utility service provided between March 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020.

Applications will be accepted through December 4, 2020 and funds will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis until all funds have been exhausted. Once an application is approved, a one-time payment will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the applicant’s account. Eligible residents may apply for the Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program here.

Additionally, on November 18, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency to clarify the restrictions applicable to fitness centers and sporting and recreational events outside of the high school, collegiate, or professional levels.

Effective immediately through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Except for high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or recreational gatherings, all sporting or recreational gatherings of any size are prohibited unless the gathering organizer and all participants (i) maintain 6 feet of physical distance between all other participants at all times, (ii) limit spectators to no more than 2 people for each athlete participating in the event, and (iii) ensure all participants over the age of 2 wear a mask or other face covering. Activities where close contact is required or reasonably unavoidable, such as wrestling matches or basketball games are prohibited.
  • A fitness enter, health club, health spa, or gym may remain open but only if the establishment (i) ensures that all equipment and machines are spaced at least 6 feet apart or takes other appropriate measures to ensure that more closely spaced equipment and machines are not used, (ii) limits group activities or classes to a number of people that permits maintaining a distance of 6 feet apart at all times, (iii) complies with the requirements applicable to sporting and recreational events under this Proclamation, and (iv) implements other reasonable measures under the circumstances of the establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.

Except to the extent modified by this Proclamation, the November 0and November 16 proclamations remain in full effect through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

(Linn County): On November 18, the Linn County Board of Supervisors signed a Resolution Approving the Linn County Board of Health Face Covering Regulation. The regulation requires that every person in Linn County wear a face covering in public places, whether indoor or outdoor, whenever 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained from other persons. The following person are exempt from wearing a face covering: (i) persons younger than 2 years old, (ii) anyone who has trouble breathing or is on oxygen therapy or a ventilator, (iii) anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or (iv) anyone who has received written notice from a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings. Violation of the regulation is a misdemeanor punishable by fine.

The regulation is effective beginning November 19, 2020 and expires upon the later to occur of the expiration of Governor Reynolds’s November 10, 2020 proclamation, or the expiration of the Linn County Board of Supervisors’ declaration of public health disaster.

November 17, 2020:

On November 16, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency implementing additional health measures, effective November 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Effective through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • All people 2 years or older must wear a mask or other face covering when they are within 6 feet of individuals who are not members of their household for 15 minutes or longer and are inside an indoor space that is open to the public or a state government building, office or facility under the control of the Executive Branch (subject to certain exceptions);
  • Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events of more than 15 people are prohibited at all indoor locations and venues unless explicitly permitted by the Proclamation or all members of the gathering live in the same household;
  • Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events of more than 30 people are prohibited at all outdoor locations and venues unless explicitly permitted by the Proclamation or all members of the gathering live in the same household;
  • Except for high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or recreational gatherings, all sporting or recreational gatherings of any size are prohibited, provided that at high school sporting events, spectators (i) wear mask, (ii) are limited to 2 spectators per athlete, (iii) are present only during their athletes game or event, and (iv) ensure at least 6 feet of physical distances between other spectators;
  • Spiritual and religious gatherings, including any funerals or weddings, are not prohibited, but must implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees, volunteers, and other participants, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19;
  • Restaurants, bars, wedding reception venues, wineries, breweries, distilleries, country clubs, and other social or fraternal clubs may remain open, but only if they: (i) close to the general public for on-premise consumption between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. each day, (ii) ensure at least 6 feet a physical distance between each group or individual dining along, (iii) limit group sizes to no more than 8 people, (iv) prohibit gatherings of larger than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors; (v) require patrons to wear masks or other face coverings when not seated, and (vi) ensure other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures; and
  • Nonessential and elective surgeries that utilize PPE may not be conducted by any hospital, outpatient surgery provider, or outpatient procedure provider unless further delay will pose a significant risk to the patient’s quality of life and the facility performing the procedure: (i) has adequate inventory of PPE and access to a reliable supply chain without relying on state or local PPE stockpiles to support continued operations and response to an unexpected surge in a timely manner, and has a plan to conserve PPE consistent with guidance from the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health, (ii) has a plan for timely COVID-19 testing systematic patients and staff to rapidly mitigate potential clusters of infection and as otherwise clinically indicated, (iii) obtains a negative COVID-19 test from the patient within 72 hours of the surgery date or otherwise determines the patient’s probability of COVID-19 if a test is not available, (iv) continues to accept and treat COVID-19 patients and does not transfer said patients to create capacity for elective procedures, (v) reserves at least 10% of ICU beds and 10% of medical/surgical beds for COVID-19 patients, (vi) ensures the total number of medical/surgical and observational beds used for an in-patient nonessential surgery or procedure does not exceed 50% of the number of such beds that were used on average during the month of September 2020, and (vii) maintains a plan to monitor compliance with the foregoing requirements and a transition plan to reduce or suspend procedures and surgeries as necessary.

The following businesses are also permitted to remain open, provided they implement hygiene and public health measures, and comply with any industry specific restrictions set forth in the Proclamation (such as wearing masks, social distancing, limiting hours of operation, limiting group sizes, or prohibiting group activities):

  • Fitness centers, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities;
  • Casinos and gaming facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers, and theaters and performance venues
  • Salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, and medical spas; and
  • Malls, racetracks, museums, aquariums, zoos, libraries, swimming pools, amusement parks, campgrounds, and retail establishments

A summary of the additional measures can be found here. Except to the extent modified by this Proclamation, the November 10, 2020 proclamation remains in full effect through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

November 10, 2020:

On November 10, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continuing the public health disaster emergency for 30 days, effective November 11, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through December 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Effective through November 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • All employers must take steps to enable employees to work from home, and to the extent the employees cannot feasibly work remotely, employers must take reasonable precautions to ensure the health of their employees working in-person;
  • Gatherings of more than 10 but less than 25 people are permitted only if social distancing and other public health measures are observed, and groups attending together are no larger than 8 people, unless the entire group belongs to the same household;
  • Gatherings of more than 25 people indoors or more than 100 people outdoors are permitted only if all persons 2 years of age or older wear masks at all times, except while eating or drinking;
  • Sporting and recreational events must ensure spectators observe social distancing and wear masks, and if the event participants are 18 years or younger, then no more than 2 spectators per athlete may be permitted at the event;
  • Wedding receptions are permitted to the extent social distancing is observed, group seating is limited to no more than 8 people, and other public health measures are implemented;
  • Spiritual and religious gatherings shall implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees, volunteers, and other participants, increased hygiene practice, and other public health measures;
  • Restaurants and bars must ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining alone, ensure patrons are seated while dining in, limit the size of groups seated together to no more than 8 people, and implement other public health measures as necessary; and
  • Fitness centers, casino and gaming facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers, salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, and tanning facilities, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities, theaters, performance venues, race tracks, malls, museum, aquariums, zoos, libraries, swimming pools, amusement parks, campgrounds, and retail establishments may all reopen or remain open, to the extent social distancing is maintained, group sizes are limited, and Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health Guidance is adhered to.

A summary of the new gathering restrictions can be found here.

Additionally, the 29-page proclamation also extends through December 10, 2020, a number of other previously implemented measures pertaining to the following, among others:

  • Monitoring of staff for COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Nonessential and elective surgeries;
  • Dental services;
  • School operations;
  • Healthcare operations and services;
  • Professional licensing relief;
  • Food establishment operations;
  • Regulatory relief measures;
  • Trucking and transportation operations;
  • Motor vehicle licensing and registration;
  • Weapons permitting;
  • Legal operations such as warrants and governmental hearings;
  • Governmental operations;
  • Veterans assistance; and
  • Construction.

November 9, 2020:

On November 5, Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced the launch of the Iowa Movie Theatre Relief Program. The Program will provide up to $10,000 per screen to eligible movie theatres for the purpose of assisting with operating expenses in the context of the public health emergency.

To be eligible, an applicant must demonstrate that it:

  1. Operates movie screen(s) in Iowa showing films open to all ages;
  2. Conducted regularly scheduled screenings in Iowa in Calendar Year 2019;
  3. Was subject to limitations or restrictions described in a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds on or after March 17, 2020, or it has not been able to host screenings in Iowa between March 17, 2020 and the submission date of the application for assistance through the Program; and
  4. Incurred a revenue loss in Calendar Year 2020 due to the pandemic as compared with Calendar Year 2019.

Theatres with corporate ownership based outside of Iowa or additional screens outside of Iowa must use grant funds solely for their Iowa-based screens and/or operations. Applications will be accepted from November 9, 2020 until November 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. A link to the online application will be emailed to theatre owners on November 9, 2020. Theatre owners who do not receive the email should contact theatrerelief@iowaeda.com.

November 3, 2020:

On November 3, Governor Reynolds announced $28 million in direct relief will be provided to Iowa’s hospitals and local health departments. $25 million will be allocated to hospitals to address staffing needs and the remaining $3 million will be distributed to local county health departments. Additionally, Governor Reynolds announced the 46 awardees of the $5.85 million Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant.

October 27, 2020:

On October 26, Governor Reynolds announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Association of Iowa Fairs, launched the Iowa County Fairs Relief Fund (the “Fund”). The Fund will provide awards of $25,000, $50,000, or $75,000 to eligible County and District fairs to assist with operational expenses. Award amounts will be determined based on demonstrated revenue loss for the period from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 as compared with the corresponding period for the previous year.

To be eligible, an applicant must demonstrate that it:

  1. Is a “Fair” as defined at Iowa Code section 174.1;
  2. Has continuously held membership in the AIF since at least March 17, 2020;
  3. Conducted a “fair event” as defined at Iowa Code section 174.1 (“Fair Event”) in Iowa in Calendar Year 2019;
  4. Held a Fair Event after March 17, 2020 but was subject to limitations or restrictions described in a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds on or after March 9, 2020, or it canceled a Fair Event scheduled to be held in Iowa between March 17, 2020 and the submission date of this Fund application; and
  5. Experienced a revenue loss for the period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 as compared with the corresponding period for the previous year.

Applicants that received assistance under the Iowa Nonprofit Recovery Fund are not eligible to receive assistance under the Iowa County Fairs Relief Fund. Applications will be accepted until November 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. and can be found here.

October 19, 2020:

On October 16, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, continuing the public health disaster emergency for 30 days, through November 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. The proclamation extends measures implemented under previously issued proclamations, including: (i) all public health mitigation measures currently in place for businesses and other establishments, (ii) the suspension of weight limits for transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities on state highways for the fall harvest, and (iii) regulatory relief measures, including those related to healthcare, professional licensure, educational workforce, and expiration of driver’s licenses.

On October 19, Governor Reynolds announced 72 nonprofits and small business and post-secondary institutions and healthcare employers were awarded Coronavirus Relief Fund Registered Apprenticeship Expansion grants, totaling $ 6,626,852 in funding. Additionally, Governor Reynolds announced the new Coronavirus Relief Earn and Learn Grant, established to fund projects that support the creation and expansion of short-term training programs and support services resulting in industry-recognized credentials. Awards will range from $10,000 to $250,000 and funds may be used towards tuition, books, equipment, training instruction materials, tools, work-related supplies, and wrap-around supports, and no more than 10% of the award can be utilized for administrative costs, including office supplies, marketing and outreach, personnel salary and benefit costs, and travel expenses.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be a non-profit organization, a business with less than 50 employees, or an adult-training provider, including but not limited to post-secondary education institutions and unions;
  2. Be in good standing with the State of Iowa; and
  3. Reside in or have a primary place of business in Iowa or hire and employ Iowans within the state;

Priority will be given to applicants that create or expand “earn and learn” training programs that allow participants to earn wages as they work toward credentials, programs that result in an industry-recognized credential related to high-demand jobs, and applicants that recruit and enroll Iowans whose jobs have been affected by or eliminated because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizations that have already received Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Funding or Coronavirus Relief Registered Apprenticeship Expansion Grant are not eligible to apply for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant.

Applications will be accepted from October 19, 2020 through October 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., and awards must be expended by December 31, 2020. Applications can be found here.

October 15, 2020:

On October 15, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded $925,000 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 14 Iowa communities, ranging from $17,800 to $75,000 per grant. Grant recipients must match the amount received at least dollar-for-dollar. The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs and will benefit local improvement projects, including total building rehabilitations, upper story housing renovations and façade restorations.

October 12, 2020:

On October 9, Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced the launch of the Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program, which will provide eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas, and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. To be eligible to receive utility assistance under the program, the applicant must have:

  1. A primary Iowa residence (whether owned or lease) with active residential utility accounts in the applicant’s name;
  2. An unpaid utility bill balance or have previously entered into a payment plan with their utility provider;
  3. An annual income that is 80% or less of the median family income, based on county of residence and household size; and
  4. Experienced a COVID-19 loss of income (job loss, reduction in hours, reduction in pay) on or after March 17, 2020 that resulted in hardship in paying bills for electric, natural gas, and/or water utility service provided between March 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020.

Applications will be accepted through November 20, 2020 and funds will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis until all funds have been exhausted. Once an application is approved, a one-time payment will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the applicant’s account. Eligible residents may apply for the Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program here.

October 6, 2020:

On October 2, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency which is effective through October 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Under the Proclamation, Johnson County and Story County restaurants, bars, wedding reception venues, country clubs, and other social or fraternal clubs are permitted to open effective October 5, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and Johnson County and Story County wineries, breweries, and distilleries are permitted to open effective October 2, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., provided that the establishments (i) ensure at least six feet of distance between each group or individual, (ii) ensure food and beverages are only consumed while seated, and (iii) implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers and increase hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

September 29, 2020:

On September 28, Governor Reynolds announced two new Registered Apprenticeship grant opportunities that will be funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The first grant, which is available to high schools, nonprofits, and small businesses with less than 50 employees, totals $5 million, and recipients may be awarded up to $50,000. The second grant, which is available to post-secondary institutions or healthcare employers, also $5 million and recipients may be awarded up to $250,000.

Grant funds can be used to purchase equipment, tools, simulators, instructional materials, updated curriculum, or other necessary items to expand or create Registered Apprenticeship programs that provide for online or hands-on learning. Priority is given to programs targeting individuals whose employment has been adversely affected by the pandemic. Applicants must (i) be affiliated with an existing Registered Apprenticeship program or commit to starting a new program no later than December 31, 2020, and (ii) agree to recruit individuals who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, belong to a minority or underrepresented community, are veterans, or are disabled.

The deadline to apply for the grants is October 12, 2020 and applications can be found here.

September 28, 2020:

On September 25, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, which extends the closure of bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, night clubs, and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption in Johnson and Story Counties through October 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

September 23, 2020:

On September 23, Governor Reynolds announced that 65 applicants have been awarded up to $100,000 under the Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund Grant, totaling to more than $4.3 million in awards. The grant funds will assist local employers, nonprofits, high schools, and colleges in providing postsecondary training and education to Iowans whose employment has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

September 21, 2020:

On September 18, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. The Proclamation extends the closure of bars in Johnson and Story Counties through September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and extends the restrictions applicable to bars in all other counties October 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., as originally set forth in the proclamation issued by Governor Reynolds on September 15, 2020.

Effective through October 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Fitness centers, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities, salons and barbershops, medical spas, theaters and performance venues, racetracks, malls, and other establishments such as museums, zoos, libraries, among others, may all re-open, subject to social distancing and subject to Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health Guidance;
  • Mass gatherings, including social, community, recreational, sporting, or religious gatherings are permitted where social distancing may be maintained;
  • Nonessential and elective surgeries may be conducted, but hospitals must maintain sufficient PPE and reserve beds for COVID-19 patients;

The 30-page proclamation also implements and extends a number of other measures pertaining to the following, among others:

  • Monitoring of staff for COVID-19 symptoms;
  • School operations;
  • Healthcare operations;
  • Professional licensing relief;
  • Food establishment operations;
  • Legal operations such as warrants and governmental hearings;
  • Veterans assistance;
  • Construction.

September 16, 2020:

On September 15, Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, which is effective beginning September 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through September 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. In all counties except Johnson County and Story County, the Proclamation permits restaurants, wedding venues, bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, country clubs, and other social or fraternal clubs to reopen, provided that the establishments (i) ensure at least six feet of distance between each group or individual, and (ii) implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers and increase hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

In Johnson County and Story County, a restaurant, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club may reopen or remain open to serve food and beverages on its premises, but only if the sale of alcoholic beverages comprises no more than half of the establishment’s monthly revenues and the establishment: (i) serves food to all customers who order a drink, (ii) ensures at least six feet of distance between each group or individual, (iii) implements reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers and increase hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and (iv) limits the sale of alcoholic beverages between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.

In Johnson County and Story County, all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, night clubs, and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverage for consumption on their premises must remain closed to the general public, except for (i) carry-out, drive through, or delivery service; (ii) private gatherings hosted at an establishment; (iii) bars located in hotels, casinos, movie theaters, or sporting venues may permit the consumption of alcohol by guests on a casino floor, inside an individual theater, or in a person’s hotel room; and (iv) an establishment that prepares and serves food and obtains at least half of its monthly revenue from the sale of food may remain open and serve food and beverages, provided it complies with the restrictions above applicable to restaurants in Johnson County and Story County.

September 3, 2020:

On September 3, the Iowa Workforce Development announced it has begun accepting applications under the Lost Wages Assistance (“LWA”) program. In order to be eligible for the LWA program, applicants must be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Additionally, the applicant must have been eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits as of August 1, 2020. Eligible claimants will receive an additional $300 per week and the first payment will include retroactive payments to the week ending on August 1, 2020. The LWA program will expire when the first of the following occurs:

  1. FEMA expends $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund;
  2. The balance of the Disaster Relief Fund decreases to $25 billion or less;
  3. Congress enacts legislation that provides supplemental federal unemployment compensation or similar compensation for unemployed or underemployed individuals due to the COVID-19 pandemic; or
  4. December 27, 2020.

Applicants may apply for the LWA program here.

August 27, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency ordering all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, night clubs and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on their premises to close in the following counties: Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Story. These establishments may continue to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises. Importantly, restaurants in these six counties may remain open, but they must stop selling alcoholic beverages after 10:00 p.m. and comply with social distancing requirements. The order is effective beginning at 5:00 p.m. on August 27 and remains in effect until September 20, 2020.

August 25, 2020:

On August 25, Governor Reynolds announced that she allocated approximately $100 million of federal CARES Act relief funds for agricultural programs to offset the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, producers, and agricultural industries. The CARES Act allocates were made as follows:

  • $60 million—Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund—Using the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) existing small business relief program infrastructure, this program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to eligible producers of pork, beef, chicken, turkeys, dairy, fish or sheep to serve as working capital to stabilize livestock producers.
  • $15.5 million—State Biofuel Grant Program—Biofuels producers were excluded from receiving aid under other parts of the CARES Act; this program will provide relief to those Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers based on gallons produced. Grants will also be awarded through IEDA’s existing small business relief program and are capped at a maximum grant of $750,000 per producer.
  • $7 million—Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Program—Announced previously, this funding supports a program that helps expand retail fueling infrastructure for higher blend renewable fuels, including E15 or higher & B11 or higher. (Administered by IDALS)
  • $6 million—Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund—COVID-19 has negatively and disproportionately impacted a large number of beginning farmers in Iowa, creating the potential for longer-term generational damage to Iowa agriculture. This program will provide eligible beginning farmers with a long-term debt service payment of up to $10,000, to be paid directly to their lender.
  • $2 million—Meat Processing Development and Expansion Program—Designed to aid small meat processors, this program is focused on expanding processing capacity across the state to meet protein demand. (Administered by IDALS)
  • $500,000—Farm Produce and Protein Program—This innovative program is designed to help specialty ag producers in Iowa as well as the schools that purchase them. In addition to supporting local growers of fruits and vegetables to expand their capacity, it provides grants to schools that buy produce and other local crops and protein sources.
  • Up to $9 million—Iowa Disposal Assistance Program—The disruption to the meat supply chain due to COVID-19 forced producers to euthanize and dispose of livestock due to lack of market access. This program, announced initially in May, provided direct payments to producers to recoup those expenses.

August 24, 2020:

On August 21, Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency for another 30 days. The proclamation extends public health mitigation measures currently in place for businesses and other establishments, including the requirements for bars and restaurants to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking; to ensure all patrons have a seat at a table or bar; and to limit congregating together closer than six feet. The proclamation also extends many of the previously issued regulatory relief measures necessary to respond to this public health disaster, including those related to healthcare, professional licensure, educational workforce, and expirations of driver’s licenses. The proclamation is now in effect and expires on September 20, 2020.

August 17, 2020:

On August 15, Governor Reynolds announced that the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has approved Iowa’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. The program provides eligible claimants who are receiving unemployment with additional benefits, starting the week ending August 1st. The Lost Wages Assistance program will publicize eligibility requirements and the application process as it becomes available.

August 10, 2020:

On August 7, Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced that $26.2 million is now available to districts, nonpublic schools, and colleges and universities primarily to increase internet connectivity for students for the 2020-21 school year. Using the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, $19.3 million in awards will go to all 327 school districts and nonpublic schools. The remaining $6.9 million will be earmarked for public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities.

July 27, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation, on July 24, continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, 2020.

The proclamation extends public health mitigation measures currently in place for businesses and other establishments. This includes the requirements for bars and restaurants to ensure:

  • Six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking;
  • All patrons have a seat at a table or bar;
  • A limit to congregating together closer than six feet.

Requirements for social distancing, hygiene, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission also remain in place for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and other similar establishments.

The proclamation also extends many of the previously issued regulatory relief measures necessary to respond to this public health disaster, including those related to limiting nonessential medical procedures, waiving certain professional licensure requirements, removing barriers to remote learning, any other healthcare regulations. The proclamation also extends, until July 31, the temporarily suspension on property tax interest and penalties and the requirement for county treasurers to hold a tax sale for any parcel on which taxes are delinquent.

July 20, 2020:

On July 17, Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency, which added several additional actions to advance Iowa’s Return to Learn strategy.

The proclamation states that “in-person instruction is the presumed method of instruction” for all school districts and accredited nonpublic schools during the upcoming school year. Schools may only provide remote-learning opportunities in the following circumstances:

  • Parental consent: If a parent or guardian voluntarily selects the remote learning opportunity from among multiple options provided by the school district or nonpublic school in accordance with its Return-to-Learn Plan;
  • Approved temporary school building or district closure: If the Iowa Department of Education, in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, approves of the temporary move to primarily remote learning for an entire school building or district because of public health conditions in the building or district;
  • Temporary remote learning for individual students or classrooms: If the school district or accredited nonpublic school determines, in consultation with state and local public health departments, that individual students or classrooms, but not all the students in a school building, must temporarily move to primarily remote learning because of public health conditions in the building;
  • Temporary remote learning because of inclement weather: If the school district or accredited nonpublic school determines that an entire school building or district must temporarily move to primarily remote learning because of inclement weather for a period not exceeding five consecutive school days unless the Iowa Department of Education approves of a longer period.

The proclamation also waives or suspends several education workforce licensure requirements.

June 25, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency signed on June 10, 2020. The proclamation, effective at 12:01 a.m. on June 26, extends the public health mitigation measures currently in place until July 25, 2020. It also extends many of the regulatory relief measures currently in place, including relief for school districts, telehealth services, and licensing and training requirements for health care professionals.

June 24, 2020:

The State of Iowa announced closures of two COVID-19 testing sites this week. The Sioux County site closed on June 23, and a second site in Wapello County will close on June 24. The state is actively pursuing clinic sites in both counties and testing remains available through local health care providers.

June 22, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed Bill SF2338 into law on June 18. This Act relates to civil actions and the evidence necessary to prove past medical expenses. Notably, the Act provides that a person will not be liable for civil damages for injuries sustained from exposure to COVID-19 where the person acted in substantial compliance with state or federal public health guidance. Health care providers also may not be liable for injury or death of an individual while providing or arranging health care for COVID-19 treatment, including screening and treatment, and prescribing and administering medications. The Act also establishes a limited duty of care for persons who possess or control a premise and recklessly, or intentionally transmit COVID-19.

June 10, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation, effective at 8:00 a.m. June 12, 2020, continues to ease restrictions on businesses and extends other public measures until June 25, 2020.

Specifically, the proclamation lifts the 50% capacity limit currently in place and retains the requirements of six feet social distancing for certain businesses like restaurants, bars and theaters. Establishments must implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing, increased hygiene practices and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Consistent with the guidance that's been provided by the Department of Public Health, swimming pools, senior centers, and adult daycare programs may open if they comply with specific guidance issued by the Department of Public Health.

May 26, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency and the regulatory relief offered under the proclamation until June 25, 2020. The proclamation permits bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and social and fraternal clubs to reopen on May 28 with the same public health measures as restaurants. The proclamation also permits the reopening on June 1 of additional establishments, including outdoor performance venues, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skating rinks, skate parks, outdoor playgrounds.

The proclamation permits social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people if public health measures are implemented, including limiting attendance to 50% of the venue capacity and maintaining six feet of distance between those attending. This also allows practices, games, and competitions for youth and adult baseball, softball, and individual sports such as running, biking, swimming, tennis, and golf to resume with appropriate public health measures in place.

May 20, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency until May 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. The proclamation allows summer school activities to resume on June 1. On May 22, movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums, and wedding reception venues statewide are permitted to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place. Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons.

Governor Reynolds also announced that, because the proclamation is set to expire on May 27, bars and other alcohol-related establishments that have been limited to carryout and delivery will be permitted to reopen for indoor or outdoor seating on May 28. These establishments will follow the same public health measures that restaurants have been implementing for the past several weeks.

The proclamation also provides additional regulatory relief to those affected by COVID-19 and continues to strongly encourage all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose.

May 13, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation amending the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation permits salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments to reopen throughout Iowa in a limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place. It also permits, with restrictions, restaurants (but not bars), fitness centers, libraries, and racetracks to reopen in the 22 counties where they have remained closed. These changes are effective at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, May 15.

The proclamation continues the other ongoing closures and public health measures, including the prohibition on social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people, until 11:59 p.m. on May 27, 2020.

May 7, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency. The proclamation permits some businesses to reopen in a limited fashion with appropriate public health measures in place, including: dental services, campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities, medical spas, social clubs, fitness centers, and malls.

The order also temporarily suspends the expiration of liquor licenses, the requirement that schools cannot start prior to August 23, and several professional licensure requirements.

May 6, 2020:

Iowa Director of Revenue Kraig Paulsen announced businesses in Iowa can continue to apply for a second round of deferral of state sales and/or withholding tax. The first round stopped accepting applications on April 30. The second round of the Iowa Small Business Relief Tax Deferral program is available for tax periods beginning May 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, but note the program has different terms:

  • Only payments are deferred.
  • Sales tax and withholding tax returns must be timely filed on or before the due date. If tax returns are not timely filed, you will be disqualified from the program and late payment and filing penalties will apply.
  • Each payment included in the new program is deferred for 30 days. Penalties will apply and interest will begin to accrue if payment is not made by the end of the 30-day deferral period.

Payments deferred between and including March 20, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are still deferred for 60 days as indicated in the notice you received previously.

April 30, 2020:

Governor Reynold’s Iowa Workforce Development Agency stated that as businesses begin to reopen employees who refuse to return to work at open businesses will be deemed to have “voluntarily quit.” This disqualifies those employees from receiving unemployment benefits.

April 27, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration until May 27, 2020. The proclamation loosens social distancing measures in 77 Iowa counties effective Friday, May 1 and continues other restrictions until 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020. A summary of the proclamation, as well as the full three part proclamation (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), are available online.

The reopening measures do not apply in the following counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington, or Woodbury.

In 77 counties, the proclamation permits restaurants, fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks, and certain other retail establishments to reopen in a limited fashion with public health measures in place. In addition, the proclamation lifts the restriction on religious and spiritual gatherings so long as churches and other gathering hosts implement reasonable public health measures.

All other regulatory relief previously provided to affected Iowans is also extended until Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

April 24, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration. The proclamation also permits health care providers to begin the process of resuming some elective surgeries and procedures through a phased approach, permits farmers markets to begin limited operations with appropriate public health precautions, suspends dental licensure and screening audits, suspends tax sales and extensions of the right of redemption after tax sales, and provides other relief to residents affected by COVID-19.

April 16, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration and implementing additional measures to protect residents, workers, and the public in RMCC Region 6. The order is effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020 and continues until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020.

The proclamation limits social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings in RMCC Region 6 to only people who live together in the same household. And it continues to limit weddings, funerals, and other spiritual or religious gatherings to no more than 10 people. The proclamation also requires people to remain six feet away from people outside their household whenever possible and requires employers to take reasonable steps to increase telework and adopt reasonable precautions to protect the health of employees and the public at any in-person operations.

RMCC Region 6 includes Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek counties.

April 12, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation providing additional regulatory relief, including provisions to give health facilities greater flexibility, remove certain in-person regulatory requirements, and permit community colleges and school districts to adjust to the suspension of in-person instruction.

April 6, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, ordering additional closures and relaxing additional regulations to support the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. The proclamation also calls on law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of these mitigation efforts.

To encourage further social distancing and mitigation efforts, the proclamation orders additional closures effective at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7th until Thursday, April 30th:

  • Malls
  • Tobacco or vaping stores
  • Toy, gaming, music, instrument, movie, or adult entertainment stores
  • Social and fraternal clubs, including those at golf courses
  • Bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, and amusement parks
  • Museums, libraries, aquariums, and zoos
  • Race tracks and speedway.
  • Roller or ice skating rinks and skate parks
  • Outdoor or indoor playgrounds or children’s play centers
  • Campgrounds

The following establishments and behaviors were previously prohibited by a proclamation signed on March 27:

  • Mass gatherings as outlined in the proclamation below
  • Restaurants and bars limited to carry out.
  • Fitness centers
  • Swimming pools
  • Salons: All salons, including all establishments providing the services of cosmetology, electrology, esthetics, nail technology, manicuring, and pedicuring, all as defined in Iowa Code § 157.1, shall continue to be closed.
  • Medical spas
  • Barbershops
  • Tattoo establishments
  • Tanning facilities
  • Massage therapy establishments
  • Theaters: All theaters or other performance venues at which live performances or motion pictures are shown shall continue to be closed.
  • Casinos and gaming facilities:
  • Other nonessential retail establishments outlined in the proclamation: Bookstores; clothing stores; shoe stores; jewelry stores; luggage stores; cosmetic, beauty, or perfume stores; florists; and furniture and home furnishing stores shall continue to be closed. These establishments may still serve the public through online or telephone sales, delivery, or curb-side pick-up. This closure order does not affect other retail establishments, such as discount stores, grocery stores, or pharmacies that sell these goods in addition to other essential food, medical supplies, and household goods.
  • Senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities: All facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers are hereby closed.
  • Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers
  • Livestock auctions of food animals with more than 25 people and all other auctions with more than 10 people are prohibited.

April 5, 2020:

Governor Reynolds announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to provide Iowa with more than $44 million for reimbursement of expenses related to the COVID-19 response. These funds were obligated to Iowa under the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration on March 23 and will be used to reimburse costs incurred in March and April to implement emergency protective measures, including the purchase of PPE and other efforts by hospitals, clinics, local governments, and nonprofit entities.

April 3, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration. The proclamation orders the closure of schools, waiving time requirements as long as school districts put in place a continuous learning plan until April 30th. The proclamation also extends closures and limits placed on bars and restaurants previously identified retail stores, prohibits social gatherings of more than ten people, and continues to ban nonessential and elective surgeries until April 30th. It also extends and expands the previously granted regulatory relief and other measures until April 30th.

April 2, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing Iowa’s public health emergency declaration. The proclamation extends regulatory relief allowing bars and restaurants to provide carry-out or delivery of alcoholic beverages until April 7, 2020. It also suspends the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code chapters 490, 491, 499, and 501A to the extent they require a physical meeting of shareholders, policyholders, or members, if the meeting is held by means of remote communication and meets other qualifications.

March 30, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation of disaster emergency, effective until April 1, which: (1) continues the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, (2) suspends elective and nonessential medical and dental procedures, (3) suspends some regulatory provisions relating to evictions, (4) extends and expands retail business closures, (5) orders health care facilities and nursing homes to engage in advanced health care screenings, and (6) temporarily suspends other health care related regulations.

The order also closes multiple groups of businesses until April 7, including: restaurants and bars, salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities theatres, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities, mass gatherings, massage therapy establishments, swimming pools and spas.

March 27, 2020:

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation of disaster emergency, effective until April 16, continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, suspending elective and nonessential medical and dental procedures, suspending some regulatory provisions relating to evictions, extending and expanding retail business closures, ordering health care facilities and nursing homes to engage in advanced health care screenings, and temporarily suspending other health care related regulations.

March 23, 2020:

Governor Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to any Iowa businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000 in addition to offering Iowa businesses a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest. The funds may only be used to assist eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening business following the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds may not be used to pay debt incurred prior to March 17, 2020. The application deadline is March 31, 2020, at noon.

In addition, Governor Reynolds announced that eligible employer first quarter unemployment tax payments, due April 30th, will be delayed until the second quarter. Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees. Eligible employers also must be in good standing with no delinquencies in quarterly payments.

March 22, 2020:  

In a press conference, Governor Reynolds announced she signed an emergency proclamation closing salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments, and swimming pools. The proclamation suspends foreclosures on residential, commercial and agricultural properties. The proclamation also provides professional licensing relief to prevent the expiration of licenses during the disaster.

March 21, 2020:  

Des Moines Mayor Cownie asked residents to voluntarily stay home — only leaving for essential items like groceries, medicine and health care — for at least two weeks to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

March 19, 2020:  

The Iowa Department of Revenue extended the filing and payment deadline for several state tax types, including income tax for Iowa residents and businesses. The order extends filing and payment deadlines with a due date on or after March 19, 2020, and before July 31, 2020, to a new deadline of July 31, 2020.

March 18, 2020:  

Governor Reynolds signed SF 2357, which expands the roles of physician assistants (PA) in Iowa. The legislation aimed at combating COVID-19 makes changes related to the practice of a PA by allowing for full prescriptive rights, legal protections similar to other health care professions, the ability to be reimbursed by Medicaid and a range of other changes.

March 17, 2020:  

Governor Reynolds declared a state of public health disaster. The measure closed all restaurants and bars to the public until March 31, excluding take-out and drive thru options. It also closed fitness centers, theaters, casinos, senior citizen centers, adult day care facilities, and canceled or postponed mass gatherings of more than 10 people.

The Governor also signed Senate File 2408, which creates emergency measures and supplemental appropriations for key government services to combat the spread of COVID-19. Supplemental appropriations and emergency measures include:

  • Supplemental appropriations for Medicaid ($88.98 million).
  • Supplemental appropriations other health programs ($1.8 million).
  • Supplemental appropriations for state hygienic lab ($525,000).
  • Limitations to some standing appropriations (non-public school transportation, instructional support, AEA funding).
  • Requirement that the Department of Management and the Legislative Service Agency review FY 2020 appropriations and make appropriations for the first two months of FY 2021.
  • Emergency appropriations from the Economic Emergency Fund of up to 10% to the DOM for purposes approved by the Governor, through August 31.
  • Authorization for the Governor to waive school instructional time requirements for schools that close due to COVID-19. Recommendation that schools close for 4 weeks.

March 16, 2020:  

Governor Reynolds announced various existing forms of assistance to workers and employers in the face of potential COVID-19 layoffs or furloughs. The purpose of the announcement was to provide guidance on how employees may file unemployment insurance claims.

March 14, 2020:  

Governor Reynolds recommended Iowa schools close for four weeks.

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