Wright is one of 77 Iowa counties which will have some Covid-19 restrictions reduced starting May 1.

  Governor Kim Reynolds announced Monday she would be easing some restrictions effective May 1 in counties where the cases of Covid-19 are few. This includes the entire northwest half of Iowa, except for Woodbury County (Sioux City).

  Restaurants, libraries, retail stores and fitness centers may reopen, but only at half capacity. Churches can have services, but only if people (other than immediate family members) stay six feet apart from each other. (Many places in Belmond contacted Tuesday morning by the newspaper will remain closed.) Malls can open, but only at half capacity and with no food courts or play areas. Parks are open for walkers, but playground equipment is still off limits. Social, community, recreational and leisure sporting events are limited to ten people.

  All other businesses that have been shuttered must remain closed until at least May 15. All Iowa schools will remain closed through May. Campgrounds and bathrooms at state parks will remain closed through May 14.

  The 22 counties that still have full restrictions are urban ones with major cities -- such as Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Waterloo -- and rural ones in eastern Iowa, many of which have had outbreaks at packing plants.

  Last Friday, the Governor announced that elective surgeries could begin again, and farmers markets could be held outdoors. (However, officials of the Des Moines Farmers Market announced it would not open right away so details of social distancing could be worked out.)

  The Governor said Monday that officials would be monitoring the situation. If cases of Covid-19 began to increase again, restrictions would have to be reinstated.

  Not everyone agreed with the Governor’s action. A doctor at the University of Iowa said it’s still too soon to relax restrictions.

Covid-19 Numbers

Known Iowa cases 6,400

New cases April 28 508

Known Iowa deaths 136

Wright County cases 2

Cerro Gordo Co. cases 14

Franklin County cases 2

Hamilton County cases 7

Hancock County cases 3

Hardin County cases 7

Humboldt Co. cases 4

Kossuth County cases 1

Webster County cases 4

Black Hawk Co. cases 941

Johnson County cases 448

Linn County cases 632

Marshall County cases 434

Polk County cases 813

Woodbury County cases 695