Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds acknowledged the debate over a potential shelter-in-place order has become divisive during her press conference on Friday.
“Iowans in all walks of life are either strongly in favor or strongly opposed,” she said.
It’s become a divisive issue at a time where “we must be united.”
“I want Iowans to understand that we have taken significant incremental steps to mitigate the spread of the virus since we identified our first case in Iowa on March 8,” Reynolds said.
She then noted Iowa has been ahead of many states in its response and said the orders she has put forth do many of the same things a shelter-in-place order would.
“What matters is the substance of the order, not its name,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds asked the media to fill its role in helping get the messaging out.
“We all have a responsibility and a role to play,” Reynolds said. “You have an important responsibility at this time, so please help elevate and amplify the message that we are saying to Iowans.”
That message, Reynolds said, is to stay home, only go out for essential errands, practice social distancing, enjoy outdoor activities responsibly, work from home if possible, isolate if you’re sick and stay home until 24 hours after being symptom-free.
“If we can do this and be responsible, then we’ll be able to get through this pandemic sooner rather than later,” Reynolds added.
Negative impacts of a shelter-in-place order could include damaging the mental health of Iowans. Reynolds noted a potential increase in suicide and domestic abuse incidents.
“There a lot of downsides to it as well,” she said.
Asked about Dr. Anthony Fauci’s questioning of any state that is yet to issue a shelter-in-place order, Reynolds said he may not be aware of everything Iowa has done.
“Maybe he doesn’t have all of the information,” Reynolds said. “You can’t just look at a map and assume that no action has been taken.”