Iowa Governor Announces Dates For Movie Theaters, Pools, Bars To Reopen

May 20, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday announced more businesses will be allowed to reopen over the next several days after being closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums and wedding venues are allowed to open Friday at 5:00 a.m. Wedding receptions will be exempt from the 10-person limit on most gatherings if the venue follows state public health guidelines. Swimming pools can also open Friday for lessons and lap swimming.

On May 28, bars will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. On June 1, school-sponsored activities including baseball and softball are allowed to resume.

Reynolds was asked what data supports her move to allow more facilities to reopen.

“We are seeing a stabilization,” Reynolds said. “We’re not overwhelming our health care systems. We demonstrated that we have the resources to manage any kind of an uptick or a surge.”

Reynolds has recently been pointing to the leveling of Iowa’s daily hospitalizations as well as the availability of ventilators and ICU beds to justify her process of reopening the economy, which started May 1.

She said she is watching Iowa’s coronavirus data for signs of increasing virus activity in areas of the state. Reynolds has been asked several times what she would do if she sees a spike in virus activity, but she has not provided any specifics beyond saying that the state would test people in the area.

Reynolds also said vulnerable Iowans, such as those who are older or who have chronic health conditions, should continue to stay home and avoid gatherings.

Reynolds was asked about concerns related to enforcing social distancing among potentially intoxicated people when bars are allowed to reopen May 28.

“We’re going to work with our business owners,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to work with law enforcement. And they have said they’re going to educate Iowans. They’re going to encourage them if they’re not meeting it to meet the guidelines that have been put in place, and as a last resort then they’ll have to take that final action.”

Reynolds said she believes Iowans can be responsible.

Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon announced Iowa state parks will open restrooms, showers and cabins on Friday, May 22. Campgrounds are open, but some facilities including shelters, lodges, playgrounds and visitor centers will stay closed.