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DES MOINES, Iowa (LifeSiteNews) — Iowa will complete its transition from health emergency footing to legal normalcy this month, with Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announcing this week an end to the state’s remaining COVID-19 emergency orders.

Like most governors, Reynolds responded to the pandemic in 2020 by issuing emergency orders that locked down business operations and gatherings outside one’s home. Reynolds rescinded the most onerous of those measures last February, urging Iowans to take responsibility for their own health decisions.

On Thursday, Reynolds announced she will allow her remaining emergency proclamations to expire on February 15, the Washington Times reports. Among the changes will be an end to rules regarding “lingering workforce issues” that she said can be addressed via alternative means, and the shutdown of a dedicated website for highlighting COVID statistics. The data will still be tracked and made available via the state’s standard health websites.

“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely,” Reynolds said. “After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly.”

“While our COVID-19 reporting will look different, Iowans should rest assured that the state health department will continue to review and analyze COVID-19 and other public health data daily, just as we always have,” added Iowa Department of Public Health director Kelly Garcia. “The new format will include data points that Iowans are used to seeing, but moves us closer to existing reporting standards for other respiratory viruses. This new phase also assures that our teams, who have been deeply committed to the COVID-19 response, can return to their pre-pandemic responsibilities, and refocus on areas where the pandemic has taken a hard toll.”

A wealth of data has shown that the lockdown response to COVID-19 was largely ineffective at saving people from the virus, while causing a great deal of economic, social, and psychological harm to the public.

Last March, the left-wing Associated Press admitted that “California and Florida have experienced almost identical outcomes in COVID-19 case rates,” despite the former imposing some of the most draconian lockdown measures in the country and the latter remaining mostly open under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and that the mortality gulf between Connecticut and South Dakota was similarly small despite the wide gulf in their approach to lockdowns.

In April 2021, Simon Fraser University economics professor Douglas Allen published a study reviewing more than 80 research papers on lockdowns across the world, which concluded that while lockdowns saved 22,333 years’ worth of lost life they also caused 6.3 million years of lost life, making the policy’s net long-term harm 282 times worse than its benefits, thanks to the combined toll of canceled or delayed care for other medical issues, and the psychological harm of lost jobs and social isolation, among other factors.

In October, a study by Marine Baudin, Jérémie Mercier, and Denis Rancourt attributed much of the U.S. COVID death toll to “persistent chronic psychological stress induced by the long-lasting government-imposed societal and economic transformations during the COVID-era [which] converted the existing societal (poverty), public-health (obesity) and hot-climate risk factors into deadly agents.”

Most recently, a meta-analysis published in Johns Hopkins University’s Studies in Applied Economics found that “lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality” but have “imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.”

Last November, Reynolds signed a law expanding medical and religious exemptions to private COVID-19 vaccine requirements, and guaranteeing unemployment benefits for any worker fired for vaccine refusal that does not fall into either exemption category.