Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced during a morning press conference Monday that businesses in 77 of Iowa's 99 counties will be allowed to reopen on May 1.

With this update, restaurants, malls, gyms, and retailers will be "expected to open their doors for the first time in weeks," according to a KWWL report from the Associated Press. The expectation for businesses to open also comes with the expectation for people to return to their workplaces.

If workers are afraid to return to work for fear of catching COVID-19 and refuse to do so, they could lose their unemployment benefits. The Associated Press reports that the Iowa Workforce Development warns that not returning "to work out of fear of catching the virus without a valid excuse will be considered a voluntary quit." Those who voluntarily quit their jobs, are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

This won't affect many of us here in eastern Iowa counties like Johnson and Linn, as we'll continue to stay shut down through May 15, according to KWWL. But, it appears that the majority of the counties in the state will be headed back to work very soon. To sum it up, if your place of work is about to reopen, then get ready to get back to it. That is, unless you have a valid reason not to, or you don't want to continue to receive unemployment.

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