Nearly 500 People Attended Iowa Horse Auction Thursday
The headline just makes me shake my head but, unfortunately, it's true.
The Midwest Trotting Horse Sale was held Thursday near Seymour, Iowa in Wayne County, in extreme south-central Iowa. Nearly 500 people attended, according to the Wayne County Public Health Department. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had previously issued an order that Iowans should gather in groups of ten or less. What happened yesterday caused her to strengthen the order.
The Thursday auction was held on the private property of Ura Gingerich. It had been postponed from March 18, according to KCCI. A post on the Wayne County Public Health Department Facebook page says staff and volunteers wore PPE (personal protective equipment) and screened and educated people as they entered the auction. One vehicle was turned away after answering screening questions:
Wednesday, Governor Reynolds said livestock auctions were exempt due to the fact they were considered part of the food chain supply. She clearly reconsidered.
Late Thursday afternoon, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation that goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. It continued the state's Public Health Emergency and also limited livestock auctions to the same rules as other gatherings. It also gave law enforcement in Iowa the ability to "assist in the enforcement of the provisions of this proclamation." Sections Eight and Nine of the Governor's proclamation are below. You can read the entire order HERE.
SECTION EIGHT. Effective at 5:00 p.m. on April 3, 2020 and until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020, all auctions with more than 10 people present in person are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, except for livestock auctions that only include food animals, which may continue to operate so long as there are no more than 25 people present in person. People who remain inside parked cars, trucks, or other enclosed motor vehicles shall not be counted in considering the number of people present, provided all people remain inside the vehicle at all times, and the vehicle remains enclosed with all windows, sunroofs, and convertible tops closed.
SECTION NINE. In conjunction with the Department of Public Health pursuant to Iowa Code §§ 29C.18 and 135.35, all peace officers of the state are hereby called upon to assist in the enforcement of the provisions of this Proclamation.