Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that movie theaters, zoos, museums, wedding venues and aquatic centers that had remained closed to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus will be allowed to reopen this Friday, May, 22, and bars can reopen as of May 28.
“The virus is in our communities and we have to learn to navigate that,” Reynolds said during her press conference Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Theaters will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity, but those that offer live performances will remain closed. Museums, aquariums and zoos must take “reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons (and use) increased hygiene practices,” according to the proclamation.
Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons.
Additionally, modern restrooms, showers and cabins at Iowa’s state parks will open this Friday, in time for the Memorial Day weekend, though playgrounds, lodges and visitor centers will remain closed.
At campgrounds, only overnight campers with reservations will be allowed, with no visitors. Beaches will be open and monitored. Park-goers are advised to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to practice social distancing.
Reynolds also announced at her press conference that school-sponsored activities, including high school baseball and softball, will be allowed to resume as of June 1.
Casinos and amusement parks are among venues that will remain closed, though Reynolds indicated discussions are underway for opening those sites, as well.
When asked what data she is using to allow the reopening of places such as movie theaters, where people will be in close quarters, even as Iowa continues to see double-digit daily deaths, Reynolds pointed to testing and “real-time” data of case numbers.
“We are seeing a stabilization. We’re not overwhelming our health care systems,” she said. “And we are seeing great trends.”
The state is no longer issuing daily coronavirus updates and is showing rolling data on its website. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Iowa had 15,533 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 237 cases over the last 24 hours, and with 14 deaths in 24 hours, a total of 381 Iowans have died from the virus.
Also in the past 24 hours, 35 patients were admitted to the hospital, up from 28 the previous day, with 381 Iowans currently hospitalized, including 126 in intensive care units and 84 on ventilators.
See more information about Iowa’s state parks: www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Alerts-and-Closures