BREAKING: Is Iowa Over Covid? Governor Reynolds Ending Covid Websites And State Emergency
BREAKING NEWS: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says the state is over the hump in terms of covid, and she’s taking down the covid websites and letting the Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation for the state expire.
Reynolds announced Thursday that she has signed the final extension of Iowa’s Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation, letting it expire at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Reynolds first issued the public health emergency proclamation on March 17, 2020, as covid first began to bloom and spread throughout the U.S. Iowa’s covid numbers continue to remain problematic, with the most recent state positivity rate at 21.5 percent, but the Governor has said it’s time to get over covid and move forward.
“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat covid-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely. After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly,” Reynolds said in a news release. “State agencies will now manage covid-19 as part of normal daily business and reallocate resources that have been solely dedicated to the response effort to serve other important needs for Iowans.
“The remaining 16 provisions focus primarily on lingering workforce issues exacerbated by the pandemic that are best addressed outside of emergency executive powers.”
“While our covid-19 reporting will look different, Iowans should rest assured that the state health department will continue to review and analyze covid-19 and other public health data daily, just as we always have,” said Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. “The new format will include data points that Iowans are used to seeing but moves us closer to existing reporting standards for other respiratory viruses. This new phase also assures that our teams, who have been deeply committed to the COVID-19 response, can return to their pre-pandemic responsibilities, and refocus on areas where the pandemic has taken a hard toll.”
The State Hygienic Lab will continue to operate the TestIowa at Home program, but the state will reassess the need for the program, Gov. Reynolds said. In addition, the state health department will report relevant COVID-19 data weekly on its website, idph.iowa.gov.
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