Des Moines Iowa's maoyr has declared a state of emergency, a move that would prohibit gatherings of more than 250 people on public grounds.

According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Mayor Frank Cownie, mayor of Des Moines, has signed the proclamation as of today, Sunday. This follows Governor Kim Reynolds announcement of the state's first case of “community spread” in the novel Coronavirus. 'Community spread', which means COVID-19 has spread from an unknown source and isn't linked to travel as other cases in the state have been.

Because of the proclamation, this means the cancellation of the city's 2020 St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was scheduled for Tuesday in downtown.

It does not bar gatherings on private land, however Cownie urged people to also avoid large gatherings in private for their own safety.

As of Saturday, March 14, there were 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in five counties in the state of Iowa. The only cases reported are in nearby Johnson, Carroll, Dallas, Harrison, and Pottawattamie Counties.

(Via KWWL)