Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday she is calling an end to the coronavirus public health emergency, a move that will limit the release of state public health data but reflects the governor's long-held belief that it's time to move on from pandemic restrictions.
Reynolds said in a statement that the state cannot treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely.
"After two years, it's no longer feasible or necessary," she said. "The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly."
The governor's decision means that as of Feb. 15, the Iowa Department of Public Health will report COVID-19 data similar to other respiratory viruses. The state will provide weekly updates on its website showing positive coronavirus tests, cases by county and deaths since March 2020, as well as information about how many Iowans are fully vaccinated.
However, the state will discontinue its vaccine locator website, saying information will remain accessible online through other state and federal resources. Some information about hospitalizations and other information will be left to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC COVID Data Tracker.
Reynolds first declared a health disaster emergency on March 17, 2020.
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