Reynolds allows Iowa schools, activities to resume July 1

Reynolds allows Iowa schools, activities to resume July 1


GRIMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa education officials released guidelines Thursday that will allow schools to reopen to normal activities as of July 1 without requirements that students and teachers undergo health checks, wear face coverings or observe social distancing in schools.

The plan is in line with Gov. Kim Reynolds' moves to allow public gatherings again after she had imposed restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Reynolds had initially ordered schools across the state to close in March and extended her action in April for the remainder of the school year.

Reynolds said sports events can proceed with social distancing, good hygiene and sanitizing equipment.

“These kids need the opportunity to find some normalcy in their lives and it is a balance. We cannot shut down forever,” she said.

Iowa had an additional 462 positive cases on Thursday for a total of 27,062 total positive cases and four additional deaths bringing the state total to 694.

Reynolds noted however that some trends including hospitalizations, deaths and nursing home outbreaks are declining.

The school opening guidance was posted on the department's website on Thursday in preparation for beginning the school year, which for most schools occurs in mid- or late-August.

It calls for staff or students who are sick to remain home but doesn't require temperature checks or any other health screen before entry to schools, saying it's not a CDC recommendation “because one symptom is not necessarily indicative of communicable disease.”

Reynolds made the announcement on the day that Principal Park in Des Moines announced a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus and high school baseball games scheduled for the minor league ballpark would be cancelled.

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