Iowa has been touted as one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19 outbreaks and health officials are asking everyone to continue to do their part to limit community spread.
A recent White House report recommends mask mandates and other prevention measures for Iowa after seeing alarming novel coronavirus trends, but Gov. Kim Reynolds has long resisted some of these tools.
Reynolds has ordered bars be closed in certain counties where college students have fueled a surge in cases, but the report suggests many more are needed. Polk County Health Department Public Information Officer Nola Aigner Davis said this could be avoided if Iowans practiced simple safety measures.
The White House report says 28% of Iowa counties have high levels of community transmission. Governor Reynolds defended her refusal of a statewide mask rule, saying individuals should be trusted to make the right decisions. But local leaders have said not having a unified, statewide approach sends mixed messages.
Davis added, with all the conflicting information, Iowans might be tuning out the very reports and guidelines that are being distributed to help them.
Health officials are continuing to advise people to curb any gatherings they’d normally plan, so the fall season doesn’t see a new spike in novel coronavirus cases. And if they do congregate, mask-wearing, social distancing, and opting to stay home when someone has symptoms or doesn’t feel well, are strongly recommended.