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Reynolds extends COVID-related restrictions another 30 days

ap photo Tim and Pat Tompkins pause for a picture on their way to early vote in Bettendorf Friday.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has extended restrictions on bars, restaurants and some other businesses another 30 days as the state continues to see more COVID-19 cases.

The new proclamation extends public health rules until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 15.

Bars and restaurants must ensure that individual patrons and groups are at least 6 feet apart while dining or drinking, and each customer must have a seat available at a table or bar. Customers must congregate no closer than 6 feet from each other.

Reynolds also extended the rules for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and other establishments, such as wedding reception venues, wineries, breweries, distilleries, country clubs and social or fraternal clubs.

The main rules mean social distancing must be enforced and the businesses must comply with the state’s cleaning protocols.

The governor again extended the suspension of many state deadlines and rules, including some relating to health care, professional licensure, requirements for teachers, and deadlines for renewing driver’s licenses. She also extended the waiver of weight limits for machinery transporting grain and supplies during harvest.

Reynolds again declined to order Iowans to wear masks in public, as repeatedly suggested by a White House task force on the pandemic. The proclamation encourages Iowans to wear masks when they can’t keep 6 feet away from others, and to limit their trips and gatherings.

Iowa’s one-week average for COVID cases has risen 15 percent from the level of two weeks ago, and deaths are up 32 percent.

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