Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaks to the press during the daily COVID-19 news conference on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston.

There will be high school summer sports in Iowa, the state's two major athletic associations said Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday said that school-sponsored sports and activities will be allowed to occur starting in June.

"I know that many parents and youth athletes are also eager to resume summer sports high school athletes," Reynolds said. "High school athletics was the logical place to start the process of bringing athletics back in season."

The announcement was followed hours later with a joint statement from the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union to confirm seasons for baseball and softball starting in June.

Practices can begin on June 1, and the first contest "may occur as early as Monday, June 15." The associations say fans will be permitted at games.

The IGHSAU Board of Directors and IHSAA Board of Control both met after the announcement to vote on resuming the 2020 summer seasons under the Iowa Department of Education guidelines.

On Wednesday, Reynolds announced movie theaters, zoos, museums, and wedding reception venues will be allowed to reopen beginning this Friday statewide.

Bars and other establishments that serve alcohol and are currently restricted to carry-out service only will be allowed to reopen to 50% capacity beginning Thursday, May 28.

Reynolds said more details on youth summer sports will be released next week.

Reynolds' emergency proclamation currently in effect is set to expire May 27.

As of 11:23 a.m., the state's real-time data reporting dashboard showed 15,534 individuals statewide have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, which is caused by the new coronavirus.

The amount of individuals testing positive has been trending downward since the beginning of May. New deaths have also begun a downward trend, according to state data, in the last week.

The state began this week reporting data in real-time, instead of just once per day, at their website at coronavirus.iowa.gov.

Reynolds said Wednesday the state has shown its healthcare system can keep up with the COVID-19 disease.

Statewide, data show that 381 are hospitalized and trends are beginning to show a plateau. There were 126 patients in ICUs as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Around the state about 43% of inpatient beds remain available and about 79% of ventilators are still available.

"We are seeing a stabilization," Reynolds said. "We're not overwhelming our health care systems we've demonstrated that we have the resources to manage any type of an uptick or a surge."

She said Iowans must still be responsible by practicing social distances, wearing face covers and good hygiene practices. And older adults or those with underlying conditions should continue to limit trips to essential things.

"We have to recognize the fact that the virus is in our communities and we have to learn to navigate that until or if a vaccine is discovered," Reynolds said.

"We can continue to move forward," Reynolds added, "and do it in a responsible manner. And we are."

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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