HOW DO WE RE-OPEN IOWA?
Iowans are ready for the COVID-19 public health crisis to end.
We want to get back to work in safe, healthy environments. We want our lives to return to some semblance of normalcy. And we want to get our finances back on track.
At the same time, many are concerned that the country will move too fast to loosen the restrictions aimed at slowing the outbreak.
The Coronavirus Task Force recently released guidelines for opening up America again. It’s a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.
Based on the guidelines, Iowa will need to meet benchmarks that include a downward trajectory in COVID-19 cases. We also must be able to dramatically expand testing to quickly identify new cases, break chains of transmission, and protect first responders and health care workers from infection.
Unfortunately, Iowa is still on an upward trajectory that isn’t expected to peak until next month, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
We are way behind states that have been more proactive. For example, Minnesota’s stay-at-home order has resulted in far fewer cases of COVID-19, even though that state has a much larger population than Iowa.
We’re now seeing a rapid rise in cases where Iowans work or live in close quarters. Meatpacking plants have come under fire as COVID-19 cases skyrocket among employees. Health care workers who are at risk of exposure and often lack adequate protective equipment are getting sick. Residents in our long-term care facilities have been hard hit. And there are growing concerns that correctional facilities will soon see a spike.
It’s time to start envisioning the world we want to live in when this virus passes—and we’ll get there sooner if everything possible is done to protect the health and safety of all Iowans.
This is a legislative update from State Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For bio, photos and further information, go to senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.
To contact Senator Rich Taylor when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Senator Rich Taylor is an Assistant Leader. He serves on the following committees:
- Labor and Business Relations
- Veterans Affairs (Ranking Member)
- Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee