First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Iowa County
March 26th. 2020
Contact: Trista Schaffner, RN
A case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Iowa County, According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the individual is self-isolating at home.
While this is lowa County’s first case, it may not be the last, and that’s why we encourage all residents to continue to make prevention a priority,” said lowa County Public Health Director Trista Schaffner, RN. These actions include:
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm.
- Staying home when ill.
Approximately 80% of lowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19, Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house. Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:
- You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
- other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
- at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home. There may also be options for you to talk to a medical provider from home using technology.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @lowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth
Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration
DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, suspending elective and nonessential medical and dental procedures, extending and expanding retail business closures, ordering health care facilities and nursing homes to engage in advanced health care screenings, and removing additional legal barriers to ensure a continued strong response to this disaster.
The state of public health disaster emergency shall expire on April 16, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended by the governor.
Read the full text of the proclamation below or online here:
Governor Reynolds Announces COVID-19 Iowa Small Business Relief Program
Monday, Mar. 23, 2020
Financial Assistance and Tax Deferral Now Available to Eligible Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds today announced the launch of a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide financial assistance to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000 in addition to offering Iowa businesses a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest.
“Small businesses are the source of thriving main streets and community pride across Iowa,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Small Business Relief Grant Program is another way we can support our small businesses during this unprecedented time.”
Iowa Small Business Relief Program Grant:
To be eligible for a small business relief grant, eligible businesses must:
• Be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic
• Have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020
The Small Business Relief Grants will assist eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening business following the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds may not be used to pay debts incurred prior to March 17, 2020.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority will review grant applications for eligibility and will determine the grant amount by the level of impact including loss in sales revenue and employees. Notification of award decisions and disbursement of grant funds will be expedited.
The Iowa Department of Revenue will review each application as applicable, to determine if it is appropriate to grant a deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest.
The dual application for grant assistance and tax deferral is available at iowabusinessrecovery.com. The deadline for applications is March 31 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). The program may be restricted due to funding availability.
City Council Meetings Available via Video Conference
The City of Williamsburg will be conducting City Council meetings electronically as an option for members of the public wishing to attend meetings in this method.
The City Council meeting scheduled for March 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m can be accessed through Cisco Webex Meetings with the following information-
Meeting number: 629 567 211
Or by Phone: +1-408-418-9388 United States Toll; Access code: 629 567 211
If accessing the meeting through the above link, please note that the join meeting button will be grayed out until the meeting has started. That means if you follow the link before the meeting starts you will need to refresh your page to see the green join meeting button.
You will also be required to enter your name and email address to join the meeting. There is an option to mute your microphone once joined and you may want to do that as soon as you join. You may also use the chat function to communicate during public address times.
To join the City Council meeting from a mobile device you may download the Webex meetings app for your Android or iOS device here. https://www.webex.com/downloads.html Please be sure to select the Webex Meetings app rather than the teams app.
When joining the meeting through the app you will need the 9 digit meeting number above along with the password.
Gov. Reynolds signs additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration
Today, Gov. Reynolds issued an additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration effective immediately providing additional regulatory relief to Iowans impacted by this public health disaster.
The declaration relaxes a number of restrictions and regulations and provides relief from other statutes and state regulations:
- Temporarily suspends penalties and interest as it relates to the collection of property taxes until the end of this proclamation.
- Temporarily suspends some evictions under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or the Manufactured Home Communities or Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in certain circumstances
- Extends expiration deadline for a permit to carry and a permit to acquire a firearm and additional measures
- Permits the sale of carry-out, delivery, drive-thru of alcohol for unopened bottles of alcohol for bars and restaurants and suspends some fees
- Permits public meetings or hearings by electronic means to improve the functions of government while maintaining social distancing practices
- Suspends certain regulations to ease the transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities, food, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods on all highways in Iowa
- The proclamation also allows related state agencies to implement the state’s public health emergency plan
Full text of the proclamation can be here:
Williamsburg City Hall – Limited Access
Effective March 18, 2020. Regular City Hall hours will be suspended until further notice. Experts are strongly advocating for social distancing. To protect you and our employees and to prevent community spread we are suspending our regular city hall hours. Please drop your payments in the drop box by the men’s restroom or utilize the postal service.
To visit one of the city hall staff members or access city hall, please call us at 319-668-1133 to make an appointment at a time convenient for you. We do ask that if you are not feeling well or have been ill to please stay home to help keep all safe and healthy. This will be in effect until future notice, we appreciate your cooperation.
State of Public Health Disaster Emergency
On March 17, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency. The State Disaster Emergency Plan takes significant steps to require social distancing and limit community spread of the virus by implementing temporary measures including moving restaurants to drive-through, carry-out, and delivery only and closures of certain entities such as bars and recreational facilities. The proclamation also allows state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, and supports the critical work of public health. Read the entire proclamation here.
The City of Williamsburg is working with local, county, state, and federal partners to keep our community informed about Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to monitoring information from these sources, the City’s focus remains the continuity of critical operations: the police and fire departments, providing clean water, sewer services, trash and recycling collection
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease which has now spread to the United States.
It is mild for most people, but can cause severe illness and result in death for some. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, have the greatest risk of becoming severely ill.
There is no vaccine and no medications approved to treat COVID-19 at this time.
How it Spreads
COVID-19 spreads from person to person, mainly through coughs and sneezes of infected people or between people who are in close contact.
If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, call ahead before visiting a medical facility so they can prepare. Do not go to an emergency room with mild symptoms.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- shortness of breath
Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms and have:
- been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or
- recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a factsheet with more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19.
Avoid misinformation by following the following trusted sources:
- The State of Iowa has opened its 211 hotline as the central resource for those with questions.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) provides up-to-date information regarding this virus on their website, as well as guidance for businesses, schools, healthcare, long-term care, general public, and travelers.
- The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics website provides information and resources regarding COVID-19 preparation and response.
- The Center for Disease Control has a dedicated summary of the virus, including symptoms, risk assessment, and preventative measures.
Take Precautionary Measures
- Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds or more, using soap and water or hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or your elbow.
- If you are sick, please avoid contact with others until all symptoms have cleared for a minimum of 24 hours.
Prevention of COVID-19 is the same as that for other respiratory illnesses (like flu). These actions don’t just protect you. They help keep our whole community safe, especially our most vulnerable residents, by slowing the spread of the disease.
The Center for Disease Control has provided recommendation to stop the spread of germs.
Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC website has recommendations to slowing the transmission of COVID-19.
In Iowa, the spread of coronavirus is community spread. The IDPH has provided mitigation guidance specific to Iowa.
Several countries are experiencing rapid community spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to these countries. If you have trips planned, check the latest CDC travel guidelines.
There is no doubt that the economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt by many across our community, the country, and world. These are some efforts to offset the financial burden that many are facing:
- On March 16, 2020, Iowa Workforce Development announced assistance for employees and employers affected by COVID-19 related layoffs. Follow this link for guidance on unemployment insurance claims.
- The Small Business Association would like as many businesses as possible to fill out this form to assess economic damage in our community and coordinate a response. Filling out this form does not commit your business to anything. It gives regional and state bodies more information so they can respond to our needs. If you would like the form e-mailed please notify Niki Osweiler [email protected]. All forms need to be submitted to [email protected]. Download form here
- The City of Williamsburg is currently exploring additional measures to help offset the economic impact to our business and citizens and will update this information when available.
Make a Plan
It is important for Williamsburg residents to prepare for the potential of COVID-19 in the same way they prepare for severe weather or other events that could disrupt their normal routine.
Make a plan and discuss it with your family. What would you do if you could not go to work or school because of illness? What if your daycare provider was ill? How would you get groceries if you were ill? These are all questions to consider.
It is normal to be concerned about a new virus.
Being uncertain and anxious about COVID-19 is normal, especially with reports of illness and death in other countries.