DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, released a statement criticizing Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proclamation relaxing public health measures, including ending the mask mandate. The public health emergency declaration goes into effect at midnight on Sunday.
“With this rollback of public health guidelines, Governor Reynolds is sending a message that masks and safe social interactions are no longer important to slowing the spread of COVID-19 – the deadly disease that as of this week has taken over 5,000 of Iowa’s neighbors, friends, and loved ones,” Axne said.
“In recent weeks, I’ve spoken to the Governor and our federal health partners about increasing Iowa’s vaccine allocations to bring us closer to ending this crisis. But this new proclamation undermines all of those efforts – disregarding the lagging vaccinations of our seniors and other vulnerable populations and skipping ahead to a return to normalcy that is unwarranted.
“Tonight’s proclamation is short-sighted, ill-conceived, and dangerous as it puts our community and most vulnerable at risk,” Axne concluded.
On Thursday, Reynolds announced that nearly 276,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Iowa since December 14, noting that 137,000 individuals have received their first dose, and nearly 70,000 Iowans received both doses and are now fully vaccinated.
Last week, Reynolds said that Iowa would see a bump in its vaccine supply over the next three weeks, but that supply still won’t be able to keep up with the demand.
Iowa’s 14-day individual positivity rate has dropped to 9.1 percent as the daily positivity rate has consistently dropped since early November. Iowa’s hospitalizations have dropped from a high of 1,516 patients in Iowa’s hospitals on November 18, 2020, to 348 patients on Wednesday.