Gov. Kim Reynolds' full press conference for Nov. 17, 2020 can be seen in the video player above
Gov. Kim Reynolds held a Tuesday press conference after announcing Monday night that masks must be worn inside public places and restaurants have to close at 10 p.m.
190,581 Iowans have contracted COVID-19 and 2,023 have died as of Tuesday morning.
Hospitalizations have more than doubled between Nov. 1 (718) and Nov. 17 (1,510), Reynolds noted Tuesday. 14% of Iowans were in the hospital at the beginning of November because of the virus, but that is up to 28% Tuesday.
"I know this isn't where we wanted to be nearly nine months into the pandemic," Reynolds said.
After saying there was "science on both sides" of wearing a mask, her team clarified she meant to say there are different viewpoints on the topic.
"Wear a mask," Reynolds said later in the press conference. "You need to wear a mask."
With the steady uptick in cases and hospitalizations, the state is calling on recovered patients to donate blood and convalescent plasma.
"Convalescent plasma has been one of the leading treatments for patients suffering from COVID-19," said LifeServe Blood Center Vice President of Operations Christine Hayes. "What we're seeing right now though is as patient demand is skyrocketing, so is the need for convalescent plasma."
Hayes said Iowa's convalescent plasma supply will be depleted by Dec. 1 and will be extremely hard to replenish from other states because of the virus' spread.
Only two blood centers in Iowa send convalescent plasma directly to patients in Iowa hospitals.
Both centers have several locations throughout the state.
Under Reynolds' latest public health order, if you're in an indoor space that's open to the public, you must wear a mask or face covering if you're within six feet of people who are not members of your household for 15 minutes or longer.
The mandate, which is in effect until Dec. 10, does not apply to:
- People under the age of two
- Anyone with medical conditions or disabilities that prevents wearing a face covering
- Anyone working alone or working in a space where six feet of physical distance can be maintained or anyone able to otherwise avoid prolonged exposures with others outside their household
- People that are eating or drinking or sitting at a restaurant or bar table to eat or drink
- Athletes participating in sporting or recreational events or anyone engaged in physical exercise
- Anyone giving a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical or theatrical presentation or performance for an audience
- Anyone participating in a service at a spiritual or religious gathering
- Anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, and anyone communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing or has a disability, medical condition or mental health condition that makes communicating with that individual while wearing a mask difficult
- Anyone obtaining or providing a service that requires the temporary removal of a mask or face covering
- Anyone asked to remove a mask or face covering to verify an identity for lawful purposes
- Public safety workers actively engaged in public safety roles and when a mask or face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of their public safety responsibilities
- Anyone exempted from this requirement by another section of this proclamation
Restaurants and bars must close to the general public for in-person service at 10 p.m. and are not allowed to reopen until 6 a.m. They can stay open for carry-out and drive-thru services.
Staff and customers must wear masks, with the only exception being when customers are seated at tables.
She also ordered Iowans to limit indoor gatherings to less than 15 people, which will likely impact Thanksgiving plans for families across the state.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people.
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WATCH: Gov. Kim Reynolds' full press conference for Nov. 17, 2020