JOHNSTON, Iowa (KTIV) -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered schools, non-essential businesses and medical procedures to remain closed through April 30.
During her daily news conference on April 2, Gov. Reynolds said schools will remain closed for at least another month, Reynolds also said that it is important that school districts do their part in providing continuous learning opportunities.
She said that school districts know best what will work for their students, so those decisions will be made locally by districts.
School districts will be required to select the best continuous learning options for their students, and inform the state of that decision by April 30.
School districts that decide not to provide continuous learning will be required to make up the instructional time lost beyond what has been waived by the legislature.
Reynolds emphasized she is not ordering schools to close for the remainder of the school year. But added this could change as the situation evolves in Iowa.
"Keeping Iowan students out of classrooms is a very difficult decision but it remains necessary for now. We anticipate the positive tests of COVID-19 cases in Iowa will continue to grow," said Gov. Reynolds. "And keeping schools closed for an extended amount of time will help protect the safety of our students, educators and school staff, reduce the burden and flatten the curve on our healthcare system and workforce and of course reduce the risk of our most vulnerable Iowans and ultimately save lives."
The extension also extends closures and limits placed on bars and restaurants, previously identified retail stores, prohibits social gatherings of more than ten people, and continues to ban nonessential and elective surgeries until April 30.
In accordance with the governor's extension, the Iowa legislative session's suspension will now extend through at least April 30.
Reynolds also announced Thursday's update on Iowa's COVID-19 numbers:
- The Iowa Department of Public Health has been notified of 66 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 614 positive cases.
- Two additional COVID-19 deaths were reported Thursday as well, bringing Iowa's total amount of the deaths to 11.
- Iowa has the ability to test over 1,000 more people for COVID-19.
- As of April 2, 74 Iowans have been hospitalized, while 144 have recovered.
JOHNSTON, Iowa (KTIV) -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is scheduled to provide an update on COVID-19 at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
KTIV App Users: To watch the news conference on KTIV.com click here.
KTIV will also be broadcasting the news conference live on channel 4.1.