Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Expands Help for Iowans During Pandemic

Mar 20, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, at a press conference Friday afternoon

 Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday suspended fees related to property taxes and halted most home evictions through a series of relaxed regulations aimed at helping Iowans impacted by the coronavirus.

Reynolds' office initially announced she was suspending the collection of property taxes as part of her orders, but her office later corrected that and said it was just for penalties and interest for property taxes.

Reynolds announced the temporary changes through a state public health emergency declaration that went into effect immediately. It came on the same day that public health officials announced one new case of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total positive cases here to 45.

Douglas County Health Department officials have confirmed three new cases of coronavirus disease in the county. Also Friday, Lancaster County reported its first case.

The Douglas County cases are two men in their 40s and a woman in her 30s who traveled to the southeastern United States, according to a press release sent Friday. The three cases are not connected and the people have not been hospitalized, county officials said.

Douglas County now has 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

A growing number of retailers have shut down stores in Siouxland in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kohl's closed all of its about 1,100 retail stores nationwide, including its outlet at Lakeport Commons in Sioux City. The shutdown, which began at 7 p.m. Thursday, is expected to last until April 1.

A day earlier, J.C. Penney temporarily closed all of its stores, including its anchor spot at Southern Hills Mall.

As of Thursday, the mall remained open, as did two of its three anchors, Scheels and Barnes & Noble. In addition to J.C. Penney, more than two dozen other retailers had temporarily closed.

The mall temporarily shortened its hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.