Iowa governor tells state to stay home during critical week

Coronavirus

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds is ordering the closure of malls and playgrounds and urging Iowans to stay home during what she called a critical week for containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Reynolds said at a news conference that local police would begin enforcing her order to bar gatherings of 10 people and that violators could be warned or cited. The more aggressive moves come after Reynolds faced intense criticism in recent days for refusing to order a statewide stay-at-home order and as the state’s cases continue to grow.

Reynolds on Monday confirmed two more nursing homes have outbreaks involving at least three residents who have tested positive.

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