COVID-19 Update: New Proclamation Restricting Northeast Iowa Activities
By: Matthew McKinney
Today, Governor Reynolds announced additional restrictions in Northeast Iowa due to the heightened risk of COVID-19. Risk is based upon several factors, measured across 6 different geographic regions (as we’ve outlined before and depicted on the attached map), and ranked on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being highest risk). Today, region 6 (northeast Iowa) reached a level 10. As such, following today's press conference, Gov. Reynolds issued a proclamation further restricting social activities in the region and directing businesses in that region (that are allowed to stay open under prior proclamations) to take additional protective measures as appropriate. Notably, there are no additional business closures required by the proclamation. It is important to note, a few other regions are currently at a “9,” including central Iowa. The proclamation can be found here.
Region 6 includes the counties of Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek.
Effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 16 and continuing through April 30, 2020 the following additional requirements will be in effect:
Applies to ALL persons physically present in the Region 6 counties – even if the person lives or works in another county
- All social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings of any size with individuals other than members of the same household who reside together are prohibited. Weddings, funerals or other spiritual gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited and can continue with fewer people as long as social distancing steps are taken;
- All people who do leave their homes must practice social distancing by making every reasonable effort to stay at least six feet apart from all people other than members of the household who live together; and
- These requirements don’t apply to employment or volunteer activities.
Employee and Public Protection
Applies to ALL employers with employees physically located in Region 6 counties:
- All employers must evaluate whether any additional employees can feasibly work remotely and must take steps to enable employee to work from home;
- All businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations must take reasonable precautions to ensure the health of their employees and members of the public, including employee screening, social distancing practices and increased cleaning and hygiene practices;
- Clarifies that the employer requirements do not provide the basis for closing or taking any enforcement action against a business or employer UNLESS an additional specific order is issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.