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White House Task Force labels Dubuque a “red zone” for COVID-19

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL)- The White House Coronavirus Task Force has labeled Dubuque as a red zone, the highest designation given to an area with increasing cases.

The task force defined red zones as having at least 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in one week for every 100,000 people and a 10% positivity rate.

When in a red zone, the task force recommends not allowing indoor dining at restaurants and closing down bars and gyms.

Mark Herman, who owns Flatted Fifth Blues and BBQ, said the last few weeks have been hard enough for local businesses.

"We dug a pretty deep hole, to begin with, and now we are trying to big our way out," He said. "Shutting down again would be devastating to an already crippled industry."

Flatted Fifth Blues and BBQ is partnered with Dimensional Brewery in downtown Dubuque. The dining room is currently open, but social distancing measures are in place, and guests are encouraged to wear masks.

"We don't want anyone to get sick at the risk of staying open, but it is a balancing act," Herman said.

Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Cedar Rapids were all placed in the Yellow Zone. That is for cities with between 10 and 100 cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 people in a week. In the yellow zone, the task force recommends closing down bars until the positivity rate is less than 3%.

Herman said he is hopeful that he'll be able to stay open.

"We'll see where it goes," he said. "Restaurants will do what they can, but at the end of the day, someone else will make that decision."

That decision is up to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. So far, Dubuque has not seen any rollbacks on re-opening.

For the full report, CLICK HERE. The report on Iowa begins on page 121.

Daniel Perreault

Reporter

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