Gov. Kim Reynolds provides updates of coronavirus cases in the six counties where bars were closed


Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at her Tuesday press conference. 

Amber Mohmand

Two weeks after Gov. Kim Reynolds issued bars in six counties, including Story County, to be closed, she announced Iowa’s COVID-19 positivity rate has decreased. 

“Iowa’s positivity rate from Aug. 28 through Sept. 9 has averaged 9.2 percent, which is down from 11.6 percent [two weeks prior from] Aug. 13 through 27,” Reynolds said. “Johnson, Polk, Story, Lynn and Blackhawk counties continue to have the highest number of new cases over the last two weeks. However, positive cases are down in each county, and the positivity rate is trending down in all but one, which was Lynn, and it’s just a very very slight uptick over the last two weeks.”

On Aug. 28, Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation closing all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries and nightclubs in Story, Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn and Polk counties. Restaurants that sell alcohol are permitted to stay open but must stop selling alcohol after 10 p.m. each night. 

“So the data to validate that the virus activity is being driven by adults aged 18 to [40] for the timeline Aug. 28 through Sept. 9 continues to show that that’s where the majority of the positivity cases are happening for instance, in Story County, among 18 to 40 year old for that time timeframe night they were 90 percent of the positivity of the positive cases,” Reynolds said. “On Johnston County, they were 87 percent of the positive cases, [in] Blackhawk, it was 67 percent, Dallas 59 percent, Polk 50 percent and Linn County was 50 percent. So those are individual counties on the statewide average with adults aged 18 to 40.”

Another 1,015 Iowans have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the total positive cases to 72,152, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 22 more COVID-19 related deaths bringing the total in Iowa to 1,207.

The amount of positive COVID-19 cases in Story County have exceeded 3,000. There have now been 50 more positive cases in Story County bringing the total to 3,022. There have been no new deaths reported in the county and the total COVID-19 related deaths remains at 16.

Additionally, Reynolds also responded to criticism on whether she follows her own mask guidelines during the news conference. 

“We had our mask on [at the event] Aad I didn’t at first because I was socially distanced and then we got a little bit closer, and I put it back on and we went outside and a lot of times we will have them on until we take a picture,” Reynolds said when asked about not wearing a mask during a Republican event.  “Sometimes we do it with and without, we’ll take them off for about, not even a minute, snap a shot, and then we’ll put them back on. So I try to lead by example. But remember […] you can social distance but if you can’t you should have [a mask] ready and you should put it on and that’s what we’re trying to do as we travel across the state.”