IOWA, USA — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a new public health emergency proclamation with some restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
The proclamation extends the emergency another 30 days.
Social, athletic, recreational or leisure-type of activities are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors unless participants wear masks. All groups of people must be eight or fewer and there must be social distancing in between groups.
Reynolds noted these rules apply to any community-based Thanksgiving celebration.
For indoors youth recreational sports, only two spectators are allowed per child.
Masks are also now required for employees and customers during personal services such as salons, barber shops, tattoo shops, massage clinics and tanning parlors.
Reynolds also encouraged employers to evaluate if staff could work from home and to enable employees to work remotely.
"This is the time when personal responsibility also means personal sacrifice," Reynolds said. "I have tried to be very mindful of not only protecting lives, but also livelihoods."
Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education, noted 6% of the state's schools are learning remotely amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Since Nov. 1 the department has approved 24 requests and is in the process of approving three more. Schools also don't have to wait to reach a student coronavirus positivity rate of 10% and a countywide positivity rate of 15% to apply for primarily remote learning, Lebo said.
Reynolds noted wedding receptions, youth sports and "even having some neighbors over to watch a football game," could all be among the highest-risk activities.
The governor, again, stressed the importance of personal responsibility among Iowans to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"Iowa is open for business and we intend to keep it that way, that's why it's time for these additional mitigation measures," Reynolds said. "But it will take all of us, doing everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and keep it at a manageable level we can live with."