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Gov. Reynolds closes bars, breweries and night clubs in 6 Iowa counties as coronavirus cases rise

The governor is encouraging all Iowans 2 years of age and older to wear masks in public.

IOWA, USA — Bars, taverns, breweries and night clubs in certain Iowa counties must close by 5 p.m. Thursday because of the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at a press conference.

The following counties are included in her latest public health emergency proclamation:

  • Black Hawk
  • Dallas
  • Johnson
  • Linn
  • Polk
  • Story

Restaurants in those counties can stay open, but must stop alcohol sales at 10 p.m.

"We made the decision to move forward with this because we wanted to get in front of a bad flu season and we want to flatten that curve and reduce the virus activity," Reynolds said

The governor said closures will remain in effect until Sept. 20.

Per Governor Reynolds' Proclamation Welch Ave Station will be closed until further notice. #covid19 #besmartbesafe #wearyourmask😷

From 9 a.m. Wednesday to 9 a.m. Thursday, the state reported 1,372 more COVID-19 cases, an 18.42% positivity rate and 17 additional deaths.

Some establishments feel like the announcement was sudden, and ultimately, won't stop the virus' spread.

"The fact that we felt like we were doing the right thing, doing only patio sales and now being shut down because of other places maybe not doing what they should is a little frustrating," said Ryan Rost with 515 Brewing Company.

If a bar is located inside a hotel, movie theater or sporting venue, they also have to close. 

But there are exceptions.

You can buy the alcohol and take it into the individual theater, your hotel room for instance, or even the casino floor.

And remember, you can still buy from the closed businesses if they offer carry-out, drive-thru or delivery services.

Breweries and bars can still hold private events like weddings if they practice social distancing and limit alcohol sales to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays or 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

It was also announced that Iowa will not change testing criteria to align with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that says people without symptoms may not need testing. 

Dr. Caitlin Pedati with the Iowa Department of Public Health said she thinks it's important for people to get a test if they think they have the coronavirus or they have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

WATCH: Gov. Kim Reynolds' full press conference for Aug. 27, 2020

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