A sign marks seating off-limits at the Red Lion Lounge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the bar prepared to open at half-capacity on May 28, 2020. The capacity restriction will be lifted on June 12. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Citing heightened testing capacity and moderation of COVID-19 cases in Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds is lifting the 50 percent capacity restriction for businesses, effective 8 a.m. Friday, June 12, 2020.

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The 6-foot social distancing requirement will remain in place for certain establishments, such as bars, restaurants and theaters, but Reynolds said eliminating the capacity restrictions will give each business the flexibility to adjust their operations accordingly, to meet the needs of employees and customers.

Her proclamation, announced at a press conference on Wednesday, June 10, also allows swimming pools and adult daycare programs to open under the same guidance.

As of June 1, casinos, racetracks, amphitheatres, amusement parks, bowling alleys, outdoor playgrounds and other venues were allowed to resume in Iowa, while restaurants and bars were previously permitted to reopen throughout the state, all with capacity limits.

Reynolds did not indicate that any decision had been made on whether or not the Iowa State Fair would proceed in August, but the Fair Board voted to postpone this year’s fair.

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State epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati said Iowans who are older than 65 or have underlying health conditions should continue to stay at home as much as possible, and Iowans who cannot practice social distancing “can” wear a face mask to help limit spread of the virus.

As of 11 a.m. June 10, Iowa reported 22,516 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 339 over the previous 24 hours. Additionally, 245 Iowans were hospitalized, with 73 in intensive care units and 49 on ventilators.

Reynolds noted that the “outbreak” status has been removed from 11 long-term care facilities across the state, with no new positive COVID-19 cases for 28 consecutive days. As of June 10, Iowa still had 38 outbreaks in nursing homes, with 312 total deaths.

She did not mention the 629 Iowans who have died so far from COVID-19.

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