OTTUMWA — Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order shutting down dine-in services at restaurants, closing fitness centers and turning theaters dark is not a suggestion. It can, if needed, be enforced with legal action.

Wapello County Attorney Reuben Neff said law enforcement has better things to do than check up on compliance with the order.

“I know [Ottumwa police], the Wapello County Sheriff’s Department, and my office would rather dedicate our limited resources to more pressing crimes but, if establishments insist on defying the Governor’s order and, through their defiance, increase our community’s susceptibility to a global pandemic and national emergency, we will be forced to act,” he said.

Restaurants can still provide food and beverages if they are carry-out or drive through. But bars, fitness centers, theaters and sites that provide adult day services and senior centers are shut down.

Neff said anyone who violates or attempts to violate the governor’s order can be arrested and charged.

Matt Milner can be reached at and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

Recommended for you