Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is lifting some of the state’s main COVID restrictions. As of Sunday, people will no longer be required to wear face masks or limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings.
The state still “strongly encourages Iowans, businesses, and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health,” according to a news release issued Friday. And the order “strongly encourages” people over 65 to limit activities outside the home.
The old rules required people to wear the masks inside any public space and when within six feet of someone not part of their household. Indoor gatherings had been limited to 15 people and outdoor gatherings to 30.
Reynolds put those restrictions into place last November when the pandemic was at its worst in Iowa. Daily hospitalizations for the coronavirus went over 1,500 that month and daily COVID-related death topped 840 in early December, according to the state’s COVID dashboard.
Reynolds didn’t say why she relaxed the restrictions, but since then the statistics have improved, with 122 COVID-related hospitalizations reported on Friday and 88 virus-rela