Emergency declaration offers relief to Iowa residents

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a state emergency declaration Friday designed to offer an array of relief to Iowa residents as efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pummel the economy.

The state public health emergency declaration, among other things, temporarily suspends collection of property taxes, some home evictions and certain regulation fees and penalties. It also allows bars and restaurants to sell unopened bottles of alcohol for consumption off premises.

The declaration, which takes effect immediately, runs through April 16. For that period, Iowa concealed-carry gun permits will not expire and regulations requiring in-person delivery of concealed-carry permit applications are suspended.

The declaration also relaxes transportation regulations, making it easier to transport agricultural supplies and commodities, food, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Reynolds' measure came as officials announced that a dental student is the first COVID-19 case reported on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

A patient seen by the student when the student was symptomatic has been notified, university officials said, as have other students with whom he came in contact.

The dentistry student doesn't live in any residence hall and is in isolation off campus, the university said.

“The (Dental College) also disinfects all operatories, etc., after routine protocol for blood-borne pathogens and has intensified these efforts,” said a campus message sent Thursday.

Reynolds announced Thursday that the state total had risen to 44.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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