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Minnesota and Iowa governors hint at more restrictions as virus spread increases

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Sign in Iowa reminding residents about health guidelines

(KTTC) -- With thousands of new COVID-19 cases a day, residents of both Iowa and Minnesota worry about their health as well as their livelihoods.

Cases in both Minnesota and Iowa are overwhelming contact tracers and threatening to overwhelm hospital capacity. The number of cases has doubled in recent weeks.

"If we all don't step up and do what we need to do to manage the virus, it's going to get worse," said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. "We're just now seeing that."

It has gotten to the point in Iowa where Reynolds has now enacted a mask mandate. However, some residents say they're confused by some of the wording in Monday's proclamation.

"If they're confused, I'd say just put the mask on," Reynolds said.

She adds the mask mandate is just one part of slowing the spread.

"There's science on both sides and you know that," Reynolds said. "If you look, you can find whatever you want to support where you're at."

The governor's comment drew immediate criticism for sending a mixed message to Iowans.

"No, it doesn't. It doesn't," Reynolds argued with a reporter at a briefing Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, Walz announced targeted restrictions on the hospitality industry last week. He has hinted at more restrictions concerning youth sports coming Wednesday.

"The same thing with our businesses and schools. If we don't get a handle on this, it's not going to be a choice whether to keep it open," Walz said. "There will be no coaches to coach and we will have kids in the hospital. It is inevitable with this growth."

He has one final message for Minnesotans as we inch toward the holidays

"As painful as this is, do not gather with those large families. Keep it inside your household," Walz said. "Keep it with people who have been quarantining and isolating. Let's get through to the new year and celebrate right when we get to spring."

While there are hospital contingency plans for space and supplies, the most valuable resource in short supply is health care workers. Without them, it doesn't matter how many beds or supplies a facility has.

Both states' governors warn of potentially adding more restrictions if cases continue to increase at the same rate.

Alex Tejada

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