Iowa scientists fear Governor Reynolds’ COVID-19 retirement could spell disaster

Eight days before Christmas, Iowa Kim Reynolds offered what she hoped would be a gift to small businesses in her besieged : new, looser restrictions on COVID-19. But medical experts tell the Daily Beast it’s a gift many Iowa residents will soon desperately – and unable – to return after the holiday season.

Just in time for the last weekend before the holidays, Reynolds on Thursday signed a proclamation that lifted the ceiling of 15 people on indoor gatherings and allowed bars and restaurants to return to normal operating hours, with groups not exceeding eight and kept at a distance of six feet. The decree only requires customers to wear masks when they are not seated and employees exposed to the public to wear blankets in general. In other indoor environments, such protective equipment is only needed when people are less than two meters away. Instagram posts from Friday and Saturday showed sisterhood girls from Iowa City and punk rockers in Des Moines gathering unmasked at local water holes.

At a Tuesday morning press conference, Reynolds boasted that his condition “continues to see a decline” in cases and hospitalizations, particularly from November, when Iowa suffered its deadliest month and that his medical system is on the verge of collapse.

But data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to a different and alarming trend. The national tracking system that the first has in place since the early days of the pandemic shows that Iowa is among only 11 states that have seen an increase in the number of infections in the past week – and the only one in the Midwest – and a positivity rate surpassed only by Pennsylvania, Idaho and Alabama.

Meanwhile, federal figures show that in the seven-day period ending Dec. 21, Iowa lost 376 people to the disease, linking it with the Dakotas for the worst death rate ever. to the people of the whole country.

Against this backdrop, Reynolds’ decision to reduce restrictions frightened health professionals across the .

“It’s not like our number of cases has gone down that much. They are down a bit, but not in a substantial way, ”said Dr. Stanley Perlman, chair of virology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and career expert on coronaviruses. “I think all the data shows that this is probably going to be a problem. The number of cases will likely increase after the holidays. “

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