Mayor Declares State of Emergency in Des Moines
UPDATE— Tuesday March 17, 2020 – Consistent with the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency proclamation by Governor Reynolds, Mayor Cownie has amended the proclamation to direct that all gatherings of 10 people or more on public property or right-of-way are hereby prohibited.
UPDATE— Monday, March 16, 2020 – Mayor Cownie has amended the proclamation to direct that all gatherings of 50 people or more on public property or right-of-way are hereby prohibited.
DES MOINES, IOWA — Sunday, March 15, 2020 – Mayor Frank Cownie today declared a state of emergency in the City of Des Moines in response to the community spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) last night identified a community spread of coronavirus in the Des Moines metro and issued new recommendations for individuals with underlying conditions. IDPH added that all Iowans should be prepared for cancellations and disruptions to routine activities.
“I hereby determine that a state of emergency or public danger exists and direct that all gatherings of 250 people or more on public property or right-of-way are hereby prohibited,” Cownie stated. “Any permits or permissions previously granted are hereby rescinded and any amounts paid for such permits shall be refunded upon request.”
Through today’s proclamation, Mayor Cownie has directed the chief of the Des Moines Police Department “to enforce such direction to avoid any such gatherings, whether formally or informally organized.”
“Consistent with IDPH recommendations, I strongly suggest that private gatherings of 250 or more people on private property should be avoided and appropriate adjustment for smaller gatherings with high risk groups should be made,” Cownie added.
The City’s senior leadership response team this week will continue to monitor the community spread of the coronavirus and the potential impact on meetings, City services and public safety.
“This is a most challenging time for all of us, and I want to again thank our neighbors, businesses, residents and faith-based organizations for their patience and understanding as we work through this,” Cownie said.
Find the most current updates related to COVID-19 by visiting the Polk County Health Department and the Iowa Department of Public Health websites.
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
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