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Coronavirus

Des Moines Area Bars Can’t Reopen while Lawsuit Proceeds

September 6, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa judge has refused to allow some Des Moines area bars to reopen while their lawsuit challenging Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bar closures makes its way through the courts.

The Des Moines Register reports Polk County Judge William Kelly emphasized the importance of public health in his explanation of the ruling denying a temporary injunction to the bar owners in Polk and Dallas county.

Attorney Billy Mallory, who is representing the bar owners, says he’ll appeal the denial while preparing for trial, where he will seek a permanent injunction. The suit alleges bars closures in Dallas and Polk counties are unconstitutional and unfairly targets some businesses, while restaurants and coffee shops can stay open.

In the Aug. 27 order, Reynolds required the closing of bars in Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn and Story counties. Those counties, along with Polk and Dallas, are considered hot spots for coronavirus infections.

Statewide, cases rose Saturday by 1,024 to 69,006. There’s been 23 new deaths to bring the total to 1,160, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

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