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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Announces End to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration
Iowa Governor Announces End to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration
By: Jack Phillips
February 3, 2022: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday said she will end her state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration and will shut down vaccination and case count websites.
“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely,” Reynolds, a Republican, said in a statement. “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.”
The governor signed the final extension of Iowa’s public emergency and will allow it to end on the night of Feb. 15, according to her proclamation (pdf). It was first signed in March 2020 during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the emergency declaration ends, two websites - coronavirus.iowa.gov and vaccinate.iowa.gov - will also “be decommissioned” on Feb. 16. Information that was stored on those websites, however, will be accessible online and via other state and federal agencies, her office said.
“While our COVID-19 reporting will look different, Iowans should rest assured that the state health department will continue to review and analyze COVID-19 and other public health data daily, just as we always have,” Iowa Health Director Kelly Garcia said in a statement.
Garcia told local media that Iowa residents who are seeking data on COVID-19 in their states will be referred to federal websites.
About half of all U.S. states have already discontinued their public health emergency proclamations, Reynolds’ office said. Several more state proclamations are scheduled to expire in February if they’re not renewed.
“More than half of the states have ratcheted this down,” she told reporters of COVID-19 reporting. The governor for months has said that the general public will have to live with COVID-19 as a regular part of life.
In May 2021, Reynolds told reporters: “There’s no reason for us to continue to fear COVID-19 any longer … We know how to manage it.”
According to her office, the Test Iowa at Home program will continue but may also change in the future.
“As testing supply increases and more options for self-testing becoming available, the state will reassess the need for the program,” the release stated.
The Iowa Democratic Party on Thursday criticized Reynolds’ decision to end the emergency.
“Just because Kim Reynolds wants the pandemic to be over, doesn’t mean it’s over for Iowans,” state Democrats said in a statement. “Our doctors, nurses, and caregivers are already stretched thin, and this irresponsible decision will make a bad situation much worse.”
Source: The Epoch Times