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Bars reopen in Polk County, remained closed in Story County

Businesses previously closed by Gov. Kim Reynolds reopened their doors Wednesday night, but two counties are still ordered to remain closed.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Some bars, restaurants and other businesses shut down last month by Gov. Kim Reynolds reopened their doors again Wednesday evening, however, businesses in Johnson and Story counties remain closed. 

Businesses in Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Story counties were ordered to close their doors due to a surge in coronavirus cases last month. 

The order also came with alcohol restrictions for restaurants, such as stopping sales at 10 p.m.

Wednesday evening, Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn and Polk counties welcomed customers back with open arms. Johnson and Story will continue to live with the closures and restrictions through September 20, according to the governor's latest proclamation. 

Dr. Rossana Rosa, an infectious disease expert, said Iowans should still remain vigilant when going out since the virus is still spreading. More Iowans are testing positive for COVID-19 now than at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We are down to another plateau and then the June plateau, and it seems like every time we end up in a worse place than we were before and it's worrisome," Rosa said. 

Here's a look at the data she talked about. Notice the thick blue line that shows the 14-day rolling average of Iowans that have tested positive. 

The line plateaus, or flat lines, in June and August. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact and staying home if you are sick as main areas of focus for prevention and containment of COVID-19. Health experts also recommend getting your flu shot this fall.