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Governor urges Iowans to adjust holiday traditions during pandemic

JOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds has announced she’s cancelled her family’s Thanksgiving gathering.

The governor’s current public health emergency proclamation limits the size of family gatherings to no more than 15. Reynolds made a direct appeal to Iowans during her news conference yesterday.

“Consider the amount of planning that typically goes into the holidays, from preparing our family’s favorite meals to purchasing special gifts from those we love,” Reynolds said. “This year, I ask that you put that same time and effort into keeping your family healthy this holiday season, which may mean having to adjust your traditions.”

The governor said number of Covid patients in Iowa hospitals appears to have stabilized over the past five days, but one third of Iowa’s Covid cases this year were reported in this month alone. Reynolds said that means many forecasts predict hospital numbers and Covid deaths will increase in Iowa — “by varying degrees” — over the next few weeks.

“We’re talking with the leaders of our health systems and our hospitals, we’re reaching out to long term care facilities and we’re discussing additional steps that may need to be taken to keep our most vulnerable safe and I’m asking you to have that same focus,” Reynolds said. “Concentrate on what you can do now and over the next four weeks to stop the spread.”

Reynolds said her :”consistent” goal throughout the pandemic has been to ensure Iowa hospitals have the capacity for Covid patients and others who need care.

“It’s easy to look back and see if you maybe should have done more or done less and handled a little bit differently. I’ve tried to be very targeted in the mitigation efforts that we’ve put in place,” Reynolds said.

The governor told reporters it’s easy to “second guess” her actions and her response to the pandemic “hasn’t been perfect,” but Reynolds said she’s had to balance public health and economic concerns.

“You have to be careful about over-mitigating to people and having them still feel like they’re still part of the answer, the solution — and we’re not over asking,” Reynolds said. “I mean, you’ve got people and businesses that are protesting and rioting in California.”

Video posted on Twitter showed dozens of protesters carrying American and Trump campaign flags in Huntington Beach, California, stayed out past a 10 p.m. curfew set by that state’s governor this past weekend. The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew went into effect Saturday in much of California. Last week in Omaha, about three dozen people held a protest against mask mandates.

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