Governor extends business restrictions as restaurant industry targets rule breakers

first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds has extended her public health emergency proclamation that requires social distancing measures for businesses and other establishments for another month.The extension comes as the President of the Iowa Restaurant Association is calling out establishments that aren’t in compliance. Jessica Dunker says 99% of the 6,300 bars and restaurants follow the protocols — and many go above and beyond them.“The problem that we are seeing is that the people who are doing it right are really being negatively impacted by the few places that we see that are not doing things right. That is having just a complete disregard for the things that are mandated in the current proclamation,” Dunker says.Dunker says there also needs to be more enforcement for those not following the temporary regulations. “Because right now you can certainly report to the Department of Inspections and Appeals — they will follow up, they will investigate, they will reach out and do education, but there is no next step that is put in place for them right now,” according to Dunker. “And so, we are simply saying as an industry if we are going to continue these mitigation steps that there should be some sort of ability for them to take a step for them to do enforcement.”She says Iowa can’t handle setbacks that have happened in other states. “We’re seeing in other states rollbacks of openings, rollbacks on capacities, rollbacks on the number of hours you can serve alcohol, requirements that you can only do outdoor dining. We simply as a state of Iowa in our hospitality industry — we can’t afford it. We will collapse,” Dunker says.Dunker says an outbreak of COVID-19 caused by a restaurant that is not following the rules could impact every establishment in the state. She says they are worried that there would be too much publicity for those who are breaking the rules and that would hurt the 99 percent who are doing it right. “And we are already facing losses in the neighborhood of $750 million  in the industry. Most locations have revenues of less than 50 percent of where they were,” Dunker says.Dunker says they are working with customers to ensure that everyone can follow the guidelines. “We’ve launched a program called the Iowa Hospitality Promise, that’s really a contract between restaurants and patrons,” Dunker explains. “And we’re saying we’ll do everything to keep you safe– and in exchange — we’d like you to do the same.”The proclamation had been set to expire Saturday, and will now expire August 23rd. The measure covers bars and restaurants, gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, along with doctor and dentist visits.last_img read more

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1 dead, another missing as boat explodes off Waini Coast

first_imgThe body of one person has been recovered while another is missing and fear dead after a speedboat, carrying nearly two dozen passengers, exploded on Sunday morning off the Waini Coast.The incident occurred sometime after 07:00h about 10 miles off the Waini River mouth in Region One (Barima-Waini).Guyana Times understands that the boat was ferrying approximately 21 passengers from neighbouring Venezuela to Charity on the Essequibo Coast when the incident occurred. Both Guyanese and Venezuelans were on board the vessel at the time.Divisional Commander Kevin Adonis confirmed the tragic incident, but could not divulge further details. He told this publication on two occasions, “The ranks are still out there.”Nevertheless, Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley told this newspaper that 19 persons on board the vessel have been rescued while one body was discovered. The deceased, he stated, is said to be a Venezuelan.Meanwhile, one of the survivors – an elderly Venezuelan woman— was severely burnt during the explosion and was rushed to the Mabaruma District Hospital.Up to late Sunday evening, arrangements were being made to have her medevacked to the city for further treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital.According to reports, the two outboard engines backfired, causing a fire. This created panic among the passengers.As the flames quickly spread throughout the vessel, the passengers were forced to jump into the water. Some attempted to swim to the shore, which was in sight, while others were picked up by rescuers.The elderly woman, who is said to be in her 70s, had held onto the burning vessel as it sank; hence, she sustained first-degree burns. An investigation was immediately launched into the explosion.last_img read more

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