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Emmet County reports first death from COVID-19

Reynolds proclamation extends pandemic emergency 30 days

July 27, 2020
By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer , Estherville News

Saturday morning, Emmet County Public Health reported one local individual, age over 80, had passed away due to complications of COVID-19. An outbreak at Valley Vue Care Center in Armstrong now has 21 cases. This brings the total cases as of Sunday to 142 with 14 new cases over the weekend. Seventy-six of those cases have recovered. Emmet County now ranks 20th of 99 counties in number of cases per population.

Friday, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a public health emergency proclamation extending the emergency declaration until Sunday, Aug. 23. The proclamation essentially opens the state and removes the restrictions on many businesses and locations that were closed in the April 27 and earlier proclamations.

The declaration opens restaurants and bars without restrictions on capacity, but with social distancing and hygiene measures. Fitness centers are also allowed to reopen without restrictions on capacity, also under the condition that they meet social distancing of six feet and other hygiene practices.

Mass gatherings, including parades, festivals, farmers markets, auctions, conventions and fundraisers may be held if they comply with social distancing of six feet and hygiene measures. Practices, games and competitions for recreational or sporting activities may have contact within six feet as long as the organizer implements "reasonable measures under the circumstances" to ensure distancing, hygiene and public health measures.

The proclamation reiterates the governor's order that schools open for in-person instruction with limited exceptions this fall.

The governor continued the licensing, substitution, and other relaxing of regulatory provisions for numerous fields, including suspending permission to nursing and residential care facilities to discharge a resident for nonpayment.

Relief from imposition of penalty and interest for delay in payment of property taxes as well as the extension of rights of redemption after tax sales will expire at midnight July 31, 2020 with no interest accruing for any part of July.

The new proclamation comes as federal legislators are finalizing the Heroes Act, a non-law appropriation to follow up the CARES Act implemented in March. An appropriation both houses and both parties could agree on would likely include another $1,200 payment to taxpayers earning under $99,000 per individual or $149,000 per couple and this time including dependents other than children under age 16, with dependents age 17-24 receiving $1,200 with a cap per family of $6,000. According to a statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with the House of Representative st to go on a month's vacation July 31, followed by the Senate Aug. 7, Congress may have to pass a narrow piece of legislation this week to ensure enhanced unemployment benefits don't expire for millions of Americans. The U.S. House is also pushing for an eviction moratorium through the end of the year, spurred by the Housing and Urban Development department. The House offered a bill that would extend the $600 weekly payments for unemployed workers through January, but that has not been discussed on the floor. The economy nationwide rebounded briefly in late May and June, but a new surge in cases of coronavirus and a rise in deaths has led many states to rewind its reopening plans.

The Senate is scheduled to roll out its new relief package today.



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