As COVID numbers climb, Iowa sees new mitigations

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As COVID numbers continue to surge, Governor Kim Reynolds addressed Iowans live on statewide, primetime TV on Monday, Nov. 16, the first such address by an Iowa governor.

“Right now, the pandemic in Iowa is worse than it’s ever been,” Reynolds said. “For many, COVID-19 has been relatively mild, some having no symptoms at all. I’m grateful for that… But I’m afraid that these mild cases have created a mindset where Iowans have become complacent.”

In a new proclamation, masks must be worn whenever an individual is in an indoor public space and unable to social distance, for 15 minutes or longer. Indoor social, community, business and leisure gatherings or events will be limited to 15 people and outdoor events to 30, which includes funerals and weddings. Restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m. and all staff and customers must wear masks unless seated at a table.

Reynolds said the mandates are “targeted toward activities and environments where they have the potential to make a significant impact in a relatively short time.”

In Washington County, as of the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 17, 1,131 positive cases have been identified, which equals 5,108 cases per 100,000 population. In Johnson County, 8,361 positive cases have been identified, equaling 5,528 cases per 100,000 population. Both Washington and Johnson are in the bottom 50% of all Iowa counties according to cases per 100,000 people.

Locally, businesses are taking additional mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. CBI Bank & Trust has closed its lobby to the public. Drive-up teller and walk-up teller (inside South entrance) are open regular hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Lobby entrance is by appointment only.

Hills Bank in Kalona has closed its lobby. The two drive up lanes are open 7:55 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:05 to 5:05 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. 

Kalona City Hall has locked its lobby door. Office personnel will work 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be available by appointment.

The Kalona YMCA is open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All group activities have been canceled indefinitely following the governor’s proclamation.

Everyone entering the Y building must wear masks and must wear masks during individual workouts.

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