Iowa announces upcoming end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced on Thursday that the state’s public health emergency proclamation for COVID-19 will end in February.
“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely. After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly,” Reynolds said in a statement.
“State agencies will now manage COVID-19 as part of normal daily business, and reallocate resources that have been solely dedicated to the response effort to serve other important needs for Iowans,” she added.
The governor’s office announced that the proclamation will end on Feb. 15. Only 16 of the hundreds of provisions under the proclamation are still active, according to the announcement, with those remaining focused on workforce issues that the governor’s office said can be handled without the emergency executive powers.
The end to the public health emergency also means the state will change the way it publicly reports COVID-19 data.
The state’s two COVID-19 websites will be decommissioned, but data regarding weekly COVID-19 cases, positive tests since March 2020, deaths since March 2020 and vaccine information will remain on the state’s health department website, according to the announcement.
The Iowa Department of Public Health will “report relevant COVID-19 information weekly on its website, similar to how flu activity is reported,” the governor’s office said.