Iowa is loosening restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 and more businesses are being allowed to reinstate their services.
Governor Kim Reynolds announced the following re-openings:
Friday, May 22: Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums and wedding reception venues will be allowed to reopen. Swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen for lap swimming or swim lessons only.
Also on this day, Iowa state parks will be opening up for more activities, specifically for Memorial Day celebrations like fishing and camping. All visitors are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines while taking part in the offerings.
The director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said all restrooms, shower buildings, and cabins will reopen. Campgrounds will be open for RVs, pop-ups, and tent camping. However, youth group camp sites, shelters, lodges, museums, visitor centers and playgrounds will remain closed.
Thursday, May 28: Bars or establishments that sell alcohol which have been yet been able to open will be permitted to offer indoor and outdoor seating at 50% capacity. These places will be expected to follow the same guidelines as restaurants.
Monday, June 1: Iowa schools will be allowed to resume their school-sponsored activities and learning. This includes baseball and softball.
A representative from the Department of Education is expected to join Governor Reynolds on Thursday for additional details.
The current disaster proclamation is set to expire on May 27.
Small business owner talks about reopening:
On Friday, May 15, businesses started reopening statewide, with restrictions.
One of those businesses was Fusion Salon and Spa in Davenport. Owner Mandy DeVries was the recipient of a small business release grant. During the governor's press briefing on Wednesday, May 20, DeVries shared how she started getting her business back to normal.
She said the coronavirus pandemic hit just as they were planning and preparing the paperwork for an expansion and remodel of their salon. With much uncertainty, she said they worked to adapt to what they could control, like communication with staff and clients. Using text, email and social media, DeVries worked to keep everyone in the loop.
DeVries said staff attends regular trainings. With gatherings restricted, DeVries said they completed online training courses to maintain their skills.
For clients, the salon offered curbside pickup and delivery of products.
Once the grant was approved, DeVries said she rehired staff members, sanitized the entire salon, installed plastic guards at the front desk, and worked toward other mitigation tactics like creating space between work stations and creating PPE guidelines for certain services.
As of Monday, May 18, the salon has been open for business.
"Some of our clients have actually even shared that our salon is the first place that they have been since March," said DeVries
They've expanded their hours and created new staff schedules to better accommodate clients while following the 50% capacity restrictions. They also have clients text them upon arrival to ensure they don't have too many people inside.
Previously addressed topics:
Child care facilities are also running with restrictions; here are the state's guidelines.
Iowans are learning more about the illness related to COVID-19 that impacts children. As of Tuesday, May 19, two cases had popped up in eastern Iowa.
The Center for Disease Control had said the illness is rare, but there are symptoms parents can watch out for like a fever that lasts for more than three days, nausea, rashes, or abdominal pain.