Public health officials across Iowa are urging residents not to take the recent words of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds out of context. She is ending Iowa's "COVID disaster emergency proclamation", but by no means does this mean the end of COVID. (For the record, I don't recall Reynolds declaring "the end of COVID". That may be "misinformation" from the very people who preach against it.)

The public health emergency is ending in Iowa

But it's only "ending" in the sense that something that has gone on far longer than anyone expected, no longer needs to be treated as an "emergency", but a way of life. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Governor Reynolds' recent statement says, in part:

starting Wednesday, managing the coronavirus will be “part of normal daily business,” similar to how the state public health department responds to influenza

She goes on to say "we cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely."

What does this mean?

With the end of the proclamation, Iowa public health departments will be making a lot of changes, including:

  • Iowa Department of Public Health is shutting down its COVID-19 tracking site and consolidating that info into its general website.
  • Reporting of negative testing is no longer required. This will affect the ability to report data on seven-day positivity rates.
  • Iowa hospitals and nursing homes are no longer required to report case counts. The state will rely on federal statistics.
  • The state will no longer operate its vaccination availability website, leaving those who still haven't gotten the shot to find it on their own.

Some Eastern Iowa health departments (including at least Linn and Johnson County) will continue to track metrics as they have been, with or without the state's guidance. Granted, after a confusing 2+ years, the semantic end of this proclamation may just lead to even more confusion, but do you agree with Reynolds' sentiment that it's time to get back to normal?

Coldest Morning in Cedar Rapids History

On January 31, 2019, the mercury in Cedar Rapids hit -30. That's the actual temperature that morning, which set the new record for the coldest temperature in Cedar Rapids history, with records dating back to 1893. The previous all-time record low temperatures for the city was -29 on January 15, 2009.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.