IOWA — Governor Kim Reynolds says the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation for the COVID-19 pandemic will end later this month and the state will shut down its two data reporting websites.
Reynolds signed what she says will be the final extension of the proclamation she first enacted on March 17th, 2020. Governor Reynolds used the proclamation over the last two years to enact mask mandates and close down businesses and schools – as well as to later repeal those decisions. The current proclamation contains just 16 provisions that “focus primarily on lingering workforce issues”, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Along with the expiration of the proclamation, the governor’s office will also shut down the coronavirus.iowa.gov and vaccinateiowa.gov websites on February 16th – the day the proclamation ends. Those websites are currently updated three times per week with data on COVID-19 cases, deaths and outbreaks at long term care facilities. That information will now be provided just once per week on the Iowa Department of Public Health website.
Kelly Garcia, the Director of IDPH, says that the reporting will bring the state’s focus on COVID-19 in line with other respiratory illnesses. Governor Reynolds says Iowans need to accept COVID-19 just as we do “the flu and other infectious illnesses.” In the last two flu seasons there have been 19 influenza deaths in the state of Iowa. 8,657 Iowans have died from COVID-19 in the last two years.