Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that she is lifting all curfews for bars and restaurants and is removing limitations for social gatherings.
During a news conference on Wednesday morning, Reynolds said that the curfew and restrictions will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. local time on Thursday. Bars and restaurants will be able to resume normal operations as long as customers are seated when eating or drinking, wear masks when not seated, and are 6 feet away from other groups with no more than 8 people per group.
Gathering limitations will be lifted, but 6 feet of distance is still required between groups.
She said that there is an overall decline in Iowa of new cases since mid-December. She said numbers have stabilized over the past week. The statewide positivity rate over the past 14 days is 13.8%, she said. Only one county in Iowa is at 20%, she said, with 44 counties between 10-15% positivity and 42 counties have positivity rates below 15%.
Hospitalizations are half of the mid-November peak of 1,500, she said.
"This doesn't mean that our work is done, but it's proof that we have the tools necessary to effectively manage the virus while balancing the activities of our daily lives," Reynolds said.