An incredibly rare step to close restaurants and bars across the state was generally met with understanding in the area.

Local officials said they’ve experienced local businesses taking the news the best they can and are complying with the order with minimal issues.

So far, authorities have not had to issue any citations. Should businesses not comply with the order, they would be subject to simple misdemeanors.

Restaurants are able to remain open but are prohibited under Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order to allow dine-in customers. Instead, they can offer drive-through, carry out or delivery.

Local officials on Wednesday asked the public to use those options to continue supporting the businesses.

“We’re asking the public to support those businesses by calling ahead,” Sheriff Gary Anderson said. “These are local employers that we need to help support. So if we can ask the public to call ahead, continue to make those orders, have the delivery made or go to the restaurant and get that carry out — try to keep them in business the best we can.”

At many businesses, within an hour of the governor’s order they were already complying before law enforcement began their education phase.

“They were on board,” Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry said. “They put signs in their windows instructing their patrons what the process was going to be moving forward. … They really have done a good job.”

“It is our responsibility as good citizens to support them through this,” Demry added.

In her proclamation on Tuesday, bars, theaters, casinos, senior citizen centers, adult daycares, and fitness centers were ordered to be closed. Additionally, mass gatherings of more than 10 people must be canceled or postponed. The prohibition is currently in effect and continues through March 31.

Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

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Editor

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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