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Des Moines Mayor Limits Size of Outdoor Gatherings on Public Property


DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie on Friday amended his emergency proclamation to limit the size of outdoor gatherings on city property due to increased community spread of the coronavirus.

Effective immediately, all outdoor social, community, recreational, leisure and sports gatherings that utilize public property and right-of-way are limited to 250 people. This includes events like parades, festivals, rallies, farmers’ markets, road races and neighborhood block parties. Events fewer than 250 people will still be required to meet CDC guidelines and be approved by the city manager.

“We are at a crucial moment in our battle against COVID-19. This pandemic and the risks it brings will not simply dissipate with time – it doesn’t care if we want to return to our normal lives,” Cownie said. “It’s clear that we must be more diligent and disciplined than ever to combat the most challenging medical emergency in our lives.”

In his proclamation, Cownie also “strongly and urgently encouraged all persons in the City of Des Moines to wear a face covering such as a cloth mask, surgical mask, plastic shield or similar covering that covers their nose and mouth when in a public place.”

The recommendation includes all of the following circumstances:

  1. When outside one’s residence or dwelling place and unable to stay at least six (6) feet away from other persons;
  2. When inside any indoor public settings or place of public accommodations as defined in Chapter 62, including without limitation all retail stores, restaurants, bars, taverns and other accommodations;
  3. When in any other public settings that are not one’s residence or dwelling place with persons who do not live in the same residence or dwelling place;
  4. When using public transportation or private car service (including taxis, ride share or carpooling)

The City of Des Moines will purchase and start giving out face coverings to people in public not wearing them.

“Wear a mask – it’s the best way to keep businesses open, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives,” Cownie added. “We are the solution to this problem.”

Read the full proclamation here.


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