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Mayor Frank Cownie declares State of Emergency in Des Moines over coronavirus; St. Patrick's Day Parade is postponed

This comes after leaders identified a community spread of COVID-19 in the Des Moines metro.
Credit: Leziga Barikor, WOI

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie has declared a state of emergency on Sunday for Des Moines, after Governor Kim Reynolds said the Iowa Department of Public Health identified a community spread of coronavirus.

“I hereby determine that a state of emergency or public danger exists and direct that all gatherings of 250 people or more on public property or right-of-way are hereby prohibited," Cownie said. 

"Any permits or permissions previously granted are hereby rescinded and any amounts paid for such permits shall be refunded upon request," Cownie said.

Meanwhile, the group organizing this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade postponed it. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick posted the announcement on Facebook Sunday.

The proclamation notes Cownie has instructed Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert "...to enforce such direction to avoid any such gatherings, whether formally or informally organized.”

Cownie's proclamation comes after the IDPH recommended that private gatherings of 250 or more people on private property should be avoided.

Des Moines city leaders will continue to monitor the community spread of coronavirus. 

To read the full proclamation from Cownie, click here.

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