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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday allowing the reopening of some business types and lifting gathering requirements for certain counties beginning May 1. The proclamation applies to 77 counties in Iowa where COVID-19 activity remains lowest.

The new guidelines do not apply to organizations in Benton County due to ongoing COVID-19 activity.

“It’s important for residents and businesses in Benton County to remember COVID-19 is still spreading in our community,” said Katie Cox, Director of Benton County Public Health. “We aren’t out of the woods yet. There is still a lot of work to be done, so we need everyone to continue practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations to slow the spread of the virus.”

You can do your part by staying home as much as possible, avoiding groups of people, only going out for essentials like groceries, and medical care, and staying home if you’re sick.

The proclamation does not apply to the counties of Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington, or Woodbury due to ongoing COVID-19 activity in those areas.

Read the full proclamation here: https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/gov-reynolds-signs-new-proclamation-continuing-the-state-public-health-emergency-0

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth

For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.

Katie Cox  BSN, RN

Director of Home Health/Public Health