Mayor: Patience Vital During COVID Reopening

DES MOINES, IOWA – Thursday, May 14, 2020 – Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is urging residents to exercise patience and diligence in the days and weeks that will follow the lifting of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in Polk County. Governor Reynolds announced yesterday that while Polk County had the most coronavirus cases in Iowa, additional businesses throughout the county could reopen on Friday.  Those businesses include restaurants, fitness centers, tattoo parlors, barbershops and hair salons.

“We know these two things about COVID-19 in Iowa – the most cases are in Polk County, and we are still uncertain when those numbers might peak. That is why I’m urging residents to limit events and activities that put them in contact with others and increase exposure,” Cownie said. “All of us want to return to our normal lives as quickly as possible, but we must be patient. This is not going to happen overnight because the coronavirus doesn’t follow a calendar. We need to trust the advice of medical experts and remain diligent and disciplined on staying safe and healthy.”

Last week, Mayor Cownie announced that the City of Des Moines would extend the freeze on permits for public events and activities. Cownie today said those safeguards will remain in place. The moratorium on use-permits extends until July 1 and includes events that utilize City streets and rights-of-way such as the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the Des Moines Arts Festival. 

For the health and safety of employees and residents, the City also extended the closure of its administration buildings until June 15.  This includes the City Hall, Armory, Municipal Service Center, and Public Works buildings, the Des Moines Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) and the office location for the Civil & Human Rights Department. 

For the latest information regarding COVID-19 and City services, 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.