This State Is Rolling Back Reopening As COVID Cases Spike There

The governor has ordered bars, nightclubs, and taverns to close in six counties.

For most of August, the coronavirus surges throughout the South and Southwest have finally begun to see a consistent drop in cases. But even as there was praise for former hotspots that became "success stories" such as Arizona, medical advisors warned that the pandemic was beginning to push harder into other areas—especially the heartland and Midwest. Now, Iowa is seeing that prediction come true, and the state will be rolling back their reopening as COVID cases begin to spike there again.

In a press conference on Aug. 27, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds announced that all bars, breweries, taverns, wineries, distilleries, and nightclubs in six counties across the state would have to close by 7 p.m. that day. They will be required to stay shuttered until at least Sept. 20.


The new order stops short of closing restaurants, which will still be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages up until 10 p.m. each day. And newly re-shuttered businesses will still be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption.

While the closures target six specific counties, new cases statewide have seen an increase of 70 percent over the past two weeks to an average of 760 new cases per day, The New York Times reports. And according to Covid Act Now, the affected counties of Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Story—which are among the most populous in the state—have a combined average of 27 new daily cases per 100,000 people, and an average positive test rate of 14.2 percent among them.

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News of the new closure orders comes just one week after the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert R. Redfield, MD, issued a dire warning to parts of the country. "I will say there's a warning sign that we all have tried to put out there … that we're starting to see," he said during a live YouTube discussion hosted by the JAMA Network. "In the 'red zone' areas, [cases] are falling. But if you look at those states that are in what's called the 'yellow zone,' that are between 5 and 10 percent [positive test rates], they're not falling. So, Middle America right now is getting stuck. And this is why it's so important for Middle America to recognize the mitigation steps that we talk about—about masks, social distancing, hand washing, closing bars, being smart about crowds."

He also called out specific states, adding that "the Nebraskas, the Oklahomas, we need to see those numbers [improve]." And for more on places that are rolling back their reopenings, This Major U.S. City Is Locking Down Again Due to a Coronavirus Surge.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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