OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Governor Kim Reynolds ★ Lt. Governor Adam Gregg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020
CONTACT: Pat Garrett, (515) 802-0986
Amy McCoy (IDPH) (515) 240-0530
Gov. Reynolds issues a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency
DES MOINES - Gov. Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency activating the public health response and recovery aspects of the State Disaster Emergency Plan effective at noon today.
It takes significant steps to require social distancing and limit community spread of the virus by implementing temporary measures including moving restaurants to drive-through, carry-out, and delivery only and closures of certain entities such as bars and recreational facilities. The proclamation also allows state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, and supports the critical work of public health.
“These are unprecedented times and the state of Iowa will do whatever is necessary to address this public health disaster. I have authorized all available state resources, supplies, equipment and materials to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The actions taken today are necessary to protect the health and safety of all Iowans and are critical to mitigating the spread of the virus.”
Read the full text of the proclamation below:
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has reported an outbreak of thousands of cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in multiple countries, causing illness and deaths; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a national public health emergency; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency was issued to coordinate the State of Iowa’s response to this outbreak and such disaster continues to exist; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency; and
WHEREAS, multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Public Health has determined that community spread of COVID-19 is occurring within our state; and
WHEREAS, reports forwarded by local public health officials and state public health officials indicate that local resources and capacities are being exhausted and state assistance and
resources are necessary to respond to and recover from the effects of this public health disaster; and
WHEREAS, local jurisdictions may not have sufficient personnel and other resources to effectively conduct epidemiologic investigations of infectious disease outbreaks, provide medical care, and respond to health threats; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 can spread person-to-person and poses a possibility of causing severe illness in certain populations and disability and/or death to certain Iowans. Likewise, reports forwarded by federal, state, and local officials indicate that state assistance is needed to manage and contain this outbreak; and
WHEREAS, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 may be substantially reduced by separating and restricting the movement of persons known or suspected to have the disease, or who have been exposed to those known or suspected to have the disease; and
WHEREAS, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 may be substantially reduced by community containment strategies that may include temporarily closing schools in affected communities and other public venues; and
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provision of the Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Code requiring a certificate of need prior to an institutional health facility operating additional bed capacity will also prevent or hinder efforts to contain this public health disaster.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa law which establish preconditions or which would otherwise limit or restrict the provision of telehealth or telemedicine services and those which require face-to-face interactions with health care providers and requirements for residential and outpatient treatment and face-to-face visitations, would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa law which prohibit the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, nursing, respiratory care, and practice as a physician assistant, with an inactive or lapsed license would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 256.16(1)(a)(2)(d) and (m) and Iowa Admin. Code rules 281-77.10 (9), 281-79.14(5), and 281-79.14(7) that require a minimum number of hours of field experience in a practitioner preparation program provided by a higher education institution would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code §§ 321.174A, 321.196, 321.39, 321.46, 321.25 regarding driver’s license, title, and vehicle registration requirements would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the permit and fee requirements of Iowa Code § 321E.29 and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 761-511 allowing oversize and overweight divisible loads under certain circumstances will prevent or hinder efforts to cope with this disaster in all counties of our state.
WHEREAS, strict compliance with the requirements of Iowa Code § 455C.3 (1) and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 567-107 that such dealers must accept empty beverage containers on which an Iowa deposit was made will prevent or hinder efforts to cope with this disaster in all counties of our state.
NOW THEREFORE, I, KIMBERLY K. REYNOLDS, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution, Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(1), 135.140(6), and 135.144 do hereby proclaim a STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY throughout the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:
SECTION ONE. Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1) and (10), I hereby activate the public health response and recovery aspects of the state disaster emergency plan applicable to this public health disaster and authorize the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are reasonably necessary pursuant to those plans to assist those citizens located in the counties subject to this proclamation.
SECTION TWO. I hereby direct the Iowa Department of Public Health, in conjunction with whatever further direction I provide, to take those reasonable and necessary actions authorized by Iowa Code § 135.144 to address this public health disaster, including but not limited to mobilizing as many public health response teams as are necessary to supplement and support disrupted or overburdened local medical and public health personnel, hospitals, and resources, as allowed by Iowa Code § 135.143 and 641 Iowa Admin. Code 113.2 (1), with the understanding that the registered members of those public health response teams providing assistance under this authority shall receive the protections and benefits of state employees as allowed by law.
SECTION THREE. Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144 (3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I hereby order that effective Noon today, March 17, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020:
A. Restaurants and Bars: All Restaurants and Bars are hereby closed to the general public except that to the extent permitted by applicable law, and in accordance with any recommendations of the Iowa Department of Public Health, food and beverages may be sold if such food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as on a carry-out or drive-through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.
B. Fitness Center: All fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers are hereby closed.
C. Theaters: All theaters or other performance venues at which live performances or or motion pictures are shown are hereby closed.
D. Casinos and Gaming Facilities: All casinos and other facilities conducting pari-mutuel wagering or gaming operations are hereby closed.
E. Mass Gathering: Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.
F. Senior Citizen Centers and Adult Daycare Facilities: All facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers are hereby closed.
SECTION FOUR. I hereby direct all state agencies to coordinate expeditiously in developing plans to mitigate the economic effects of the closings necessitated by this disaster, including potential financial support, regulatory relief, and other executive actions.
SECTION FIVE. As required by Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1), (10) and 42 U.S.C. § 5170 in cases of Presidential Disaster Declarations, this Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continues to activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan and those additional response plans applicable to the counties affected by this disaster and authorizes the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are reasonably necessary to assist those citizens located in the disaster affected counties.