Shelter In Place Order Could Come From Local Officials
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that local officials in both Linn and Johnson counties are discussing the legal ramifications of a local shelter in place order and whether it would help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said that her office is getting calls from Eastern Iowa communities and others from around the state. She noted that local officials have the authority to issue such orders. She urged that leaders communicate with emergency management agencies and public health officials before doing so.
On Monday, governors in four states issued a shelter in place orders for their residents, bringing the total number of states that have issued such orders to 12. Under such an order, residents are asked to stay in their homes and leave only for groceries or medical issues. Only 'essential' employees are allowed to work outside the home.
Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart confirmed that a local shelter in place order was being considered, but he says he is NOT in favor of the decision being made locally. Hart urged Governor Reynolds to make that call. He says a county by county, or city by city approach would cause confusion, and that the order needs to come from the state level.
15 more cases of coronavirus were announced on Monday, bringing Iowa's total up to 105.