Iowa is COVID hot spot

Iowa is officially the worst place in the country—and one of the worst places in the world—for spread of the coronavirus.

Six months into the pandemic, when many of us thought we might be in the clear, Iowa is in the thick of it with record-high infection rates and mounting deaths.

In response, the Governor on August 27 closed bars in six counties, including Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Story. This is another half-hearted move that is preventing Iowa from getting the coronavirus under control.

Governor Reynolds opened the state too fast, failed to follow the advice of public health experts, and continues to tie the hands of local leaders. Because of unreliable and inconsistent data from the state, we’re in a seemingly endless cycle that is hindering efforts to safely and sustainably open our economy and schools.

To fill the void, organizations are stepping in to share the information they are collecting.

For example, the Iowa State Education Association, in partnership with Iowa Covid-19 Tracker, has released a statewide tracking system for Iowa’s K-12 schools. Parents, teachers and school administrators can report COVID-19 cases, and families and community members can track what’s happening. To report information or see where cases have been confirmed, go to

The Iowa Board of Medicine has also become more vocal in advocating for stronger measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus. In line with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they’re pushing for masks in public areas and all situations where it’s difficult to maintain distance.

Let’s all do our part:

  • Wear a mask in public
  • Keep your distance from others
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Stay home when sick

New regulations and relief for bars

The Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) has published FAQs to answer questions about bar closures in six counties (Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Story) under the Governor’s August 27 proclamation. The order is in effect through September 20.

To file a COVID-related complaint about a bar or restaurant, go to

For more information, visit the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division website, email or call 515-281-7400.

Through federal CARES Act funding, grants are available to impacted businesses. Applications will be accepted September 10-24 for one-time $10,000 grants to assist with short-term cash flow. Eligible businesses must be in good standing with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and the Iowa Department of Revenue.

For complete details and to apply, go to