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PUBLIC HEALTH

Governor lifts limits on social gatherings

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As the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases trends downward in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said today that people will be allowed to gather in groups of greater than 10 starting June 1.

Casinos and amusement parks can also reopen next week, but indoor facilities are ordered to operate at half capacity, and people are advised to maintain six feet of distance from others.

"All indicators that we're looking at and monitoring when we look at trends, it's positive," Reynolds said this morning. "Keep doing what you're doing."

State officials reported 162 new cases on Monday, which was the lowest single-day total in more than a month. But cases continue to rise in some western Iowa counties.

The state reported two new outbreaks at manufacturing facilities in Sioux Center and Sioux City today, and Crawford County now has 485 coronavirus cases and the second-highest number of infections per capita in the state.

Carroll County has just nine and is exceeded by most of its neighboring counties. The other totals are:

— Guthrie: 43

— Shelby: 31

— Greene: 13

— Sac: 13

— Audubon: 12

— Calhoun: 2

Three people who contracted the coronavirus have died in Guthrie County, two died in Crawford and one died in Audubon.

The total number of deaths in Iowa is 473. There have been an average of 10 deaths per day for the past week.

Health officials have warned that the number of new cases will rise as restrictions on businesses and events are eased, but it's unclear when that might happen in Iowa. Reynolds has said it's important to lift those restrictions to help the state's businesses survive.

"We gotta stop looking at the numbers, at the positives," she said of confirmed coronavirus cases today.

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