Bars in Story County to reopen on Monday


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds discussed new quarantine guidelines for Iowa schools during a press conference Sept. 29.

Amber Mohmand

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation that will allow bars, wineries, breweries and distilleries to reopen in Story and Johnson counties, homes to Iowa State University and University of Iowa. 

Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation on Aug. 27 closing all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries and nightclubs in Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Story counties.

Two weeks prior to her decision at that time, Reynolds said 23 percent of the positive COVID-19 cases statewide are between the ages of 19 to 24. In Story County, 67 percent of the positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks are between the ages of 19 to 24. 

Later on Sept. 16, Reynolds lifted the proclamation in all but two counties: Story and Johnson. Reynolds said Dallas County’s 14 day positivity rate had decreased, while Black Hawk, Polk, Linn and Story County remained stable. Johnson County’s 14-day positivity rate, home of the University of Iowa, was “beginning to stabilize.”

Now, breweries, wineries and distilleries in the two counties may reopen at 5 p.m. Friday. Bars in the two counties may reopen at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The duration of the proclamation extends through Oct. 18. 

Reynolds said earlier in the week that she had been monitoring the COVID-19 numbers day to day in Johnson and Story County and that the positivity rates had been stabilizing. 

As of Friday morning, Story County has a total of 3,532 positive COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths.