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Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation April 16, 2020, tightening restrictions for Benton County residents to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the county and the state.

“Our region of the state has reached the threshold for which extra measures are needed,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox. “This threshold includes regional measures of the rate of COVID-19 illness and hospitalization, long-term care outbreaks and the percentage of the population age 65 and older.”

In addition to Benton County, the affected region includes Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek counties.

The proclamation is in effect until April 30:

  • Weddings, funerals, and other spiritual and religious gatherings may be held ONLY if there are 10 or fewer people AND all people stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
  • All other social, community, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings of any size with people outside of the same household are prohibited.
  • Any person leaving their home must stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who does not live in their household whenever possible.
  • Employers must evaluate if employees can work from home and take steps to enable work from home for those who can.
  • All businesses who remain open must take reasonable measures to protect employees and the public, including employee screening, social distancing and increased cleaning.

These restrictions apply to anyone in the affected counties, whether they live there, work there (and live in another country), or are visiting.

To read the governor’s proclamations, visit http://coronavirus.iowa.gov/. The Benton County Health Department continues to work closely with IDPH, and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

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