One of the questions I consistently hear is whether a stay-at-home or a shelter-in-place order should be implemented. This has become a big topic of conversation from calls and emails I have received, in my opinion where do you balance our safety versus our liberties? Many point out that Iowa is one of a few states that hasn’t issued a similar order to combat the spread of COVID-19. The reality is, Iowa is already doing a number of things, and in some instances implementing more closures, than states with a shelter-in-place order.
Since the beginning of March, Governor Reynolds has implemented school closures, closed non-essential stores, and places where large groups of people gather. These orders include clothing stores, gyms, movie theaters, and dine-in restaurants.
Much like states that issued stay-at-home orders, the only places allowed to remain open in Iowa are those considered essential, like grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies and public works. In some instances, Iowa has even stricter rules than those states with stay-at-home orders, like limiting funerals, weddings and places of worship to no more than ten people.
On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with Governor Reynolds. He complimented Iowa’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus, saying our state functionally has a stay-at-home order.
Iowa is working to strike a balance between doing what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state, help keep essential services available to those who need them and continue to feed the world. Regardless of the terminology, the strategy remains the same: Stay home as much as you can, isolate yourself if you feel sick and make as few trips to the store as possible. The sooner we are responsible and following these guidelines the sooner we reopen Iowa fro business. As always, if you have questions, concerns or need anything else, please do not hesitate to call or email me.