Iowa legislative leaders have decided to suspend the current legislative session for at least 30 days, as a measure to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. The decision comes a day after Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health announced the first known community spread of the virus. A resident of Dallas County is the first Iowan known to test positive that wasn’t related to recent travel or other cases.
The Legislature will convene briefly on Monday to consider several “continuity of government” measures before leaving.
Public tours of the Capitol are being cancelled immediately, and for those arriving tomorrow, a health screening will be administered, including filling out a health history form and receiving a temperature reading.
All committee hearings have been cancelled, and standing committees will still meet on an as-needed basis.
The move to shut down the Legislature for the time being shows a stricter approach to the pandemic by Reynolds and legislative leaders than they were contemplating earlier this week. As recently as Thursday, Speaker Pat Grassley questioned those, like Sen. Rob Hogg, who urged the Statehouse to temporarily close.
“Better safe than sorry? So then we would just shut everything down in reaction to something that we don’t have the evidence to do,” Grassley said when asked about taking precautionary steps. “I don’t agree with that assessment. We need be able to prepare to make changes, especially if you’re just talking about on this (Capitol) complex, we’re preparing ourselves. If that would need to happen, we will react appropriately. We’re not going to ignore the situation, but again, I have to rely on what we’re being told by the Department of Public Health.”
.@PatGrassley talks to reporters this afternoon about the legislature's response to #COVIDー19 #ialegis pic.twitter.com/JrREODCU3U
— Sarah Beckman (@SarahBeckman3) March 12, 2020
Despite the first occurrence of community spread in Iowa, state leaders are still not moving in the direction of other Midwestern states that are closing all schools or even ordering bars and restaurants to stop serving, as Illinois decided this weekend.
by Pat Rynard
2 Comments on "Iowa Legislative Session Comes To A Halt Amid Coronavirus Spread"
This virus will spread thru Iowa like a California wildfire. Trump and his GOP cronies downplayed the severity of the problem starting in January. They were more concerned about the stock market than trying to protect Americans from exposure to this dangerous virus.
When a virus mutates like it did in China, humans have no natural antibodies in their blood to fight
the infection. The DNA in the virus is a unique combination of proteins that keeps on replicating and we cannot stop it very soon. It is passed on to others very easily by coughing or touching.
The Chinese scientists quickly determined the genetic fingerprint of the virus and warned the rest
of the world that it could be lethal, especially to older patients. The arrogance and ignorance of our elected officials gave a big boost to the spread of the infection. Now the horse is out of the barn and it will be impossible to stop it.
Medical care will soon be rationed because there are not enough beds in our hospitals. Most young people who get the virus will recover after about 2 weeks but they will need to stay home and their lost wages and reduced spending will result in a serious recession. We are talking about billions of dollars lost in our economy and many hard-working people may lose their jobs permanently. Most political writers had predicted that Trump could not handle a crisis and it will take many years to recover.
Not a good way to begin your ‘reign’ kid. Emulating your party leaders’ disregard for basic facts put our whole State in danger. You had better learn to think for yourself…and quick!