Mayor Supports Expansion Efforts to Control COVID-19

DES MOINES, IOWA – Friday, March 27, 2020 – Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie today announced his support for Governor Kim Reynolds’ expansion of the State Public Health Emergency Proclamation. The governor yesterday extended and expanded retail business closures, suspended elective and nonessential medical and dental procedures and ordered health care facilities and nursing homes to engage in advanced health care screenings.

The state of public health disaster emergency expires on April 16 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended by the governor. Business closures continue until 11:59 p.m. on April 7.

“This health crisis is testing us in ways we have never known and that’s why I commend Governor Reynolds for taking this important and substantive step to keep Iowans safe and healthy,” Cownie said. “It’s important that we remain disciplined and focused on staying home and staying healthy. It is the single-most effective way for us to slow the community spread of COVID-19.”

Cownie cited the extended shutdown of Iowa schools over spring break as a likely reason the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa hasn’t been more aggressive.

“This is an extremely challenging time for companies, communities and Iowans, however, our priority has to be staying safe and healthy. The data from our health professionals will dictate our direction and our eventual return to normal life,” Cownie added.

One week ago, Mayor Cownie issued an advisory urging Des Moines residents to “stay home and stay healthy” by limiting the time outside of their homes for only the most essential needs such as groceries, medicine and health care including getting fresh air and exercise while appropriately social distancing. That recommendation followed Cownie’s state of emergency declaration for Des Moines on March 15.

“I want to thank the many companies in Des Moines that voluntarily implemented Stay Home and Stay Healthy practices by providing their employees work-at-home opportunities,” Cownie said. “In some instances, that compliance is more than 90-percent of their work force – that is exactly the direction we need from our business leaders and I appreciate their efforts.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly change, City staff work to ensure essential municipal services are maintained. Many services continue to be available via phone, email and the City’s website. A full list of the latest municipal service impacts for Des Moines residents is available at

“I want to thank our healthcare professionals, first responders and public employees here in Des Moines and across Iowa for their long hours and unwavering commitment to mitigating the spread of coronavirus,” Cownie said. “I’m also very grateful for those frontline workers in our grocery stores, pharmacies and service centers who are putting in time at those jobs that are so essential to our well-being right now.”

To monitor the most current updates related to COVID-19, visit


Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.