UPDATE: The exception for spiritual and religious gatherings applies to all 99 counties. Those gatherings are also exempt from the 10-person limit.
EARLIER UPDATE: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Monday at her daily COVID-19 news conferences opening restaurants, fitness centers, malls, retail stores, spiritual and religious gatherings at 50 percent capacity for 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties as of May 1.
In the Local 4 viewing area, Scott, Muscatine, Louisa, Des Moines and Henry counties will remain closed, while Clinton, Jackson and Cedar counties will open on the first of the month.
“This level of mitigation is not sustainable,” Reynolds said, despite on Friday saying the state is still 2-3 weeks away from its COVID-19 peak, followed by a two-day streak of record-breaking spikes in positive cases over the weekend.
On Monday, Reynolds announced nine new deaths and 349 new positive COVID-19 cases.
The state totals are now at 127 deaths and 5,868 positive cases.
“We have significantly expanded testing across the state,” Reynolds said.
An additional 1,668 negative tests were administered, bringing that total to 32,282.
Only 34 percent (2,021) have recovered.