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Iowa relaxes quarantine guidance despite rapid virus spread

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:06 PM CDT
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(AP) - Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced a policy change to make it easier for students, teachers, and business workers exposed to an infected person to avoid a two-week quarantine, despite a surge in cases throughout the state.

Under new state guidance, children in daycares and schools and workers do not have to quarantine as long as they and the infected person with whom they were in contact were consistently and correctly wearing face coverings. Only the infected person must go into isolation, while the close contacts should monitor their health.

The change breaks with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which recommends a 14-day quarantine for anyone who is in close contact with someone who has tested positive regardless of mask use.

On Monday, the state Department of Public Health reported 611 confirmed cases in the 24 hours since Sunday morning, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Iowa to 86,840.

The two additional deaths brought the number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Iowa to 1,317 people.

On Friday, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new emergency proclamation that extends bar closures in Johnson and Story counties for at least another week. Those counties, home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, have seen a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases.

Watch Tuesday’s news conference

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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