Text FACTS to 515-457-1026 for the latest coronavirus coverage or TRACK to access data on statewide coronavirus testing, cases and deaths.
You can also view the latest Iowa Department of Public Health data here.
May 28, 2020
Feeding Iowa Task Force gets another $3.5M for food insecurity
Over $3.5 million is being allocated from the CARES Act to help Iowans with food insecurity. Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg detailed the breakdown of the money during Gov. Reynolds press conference Thursday.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture will get $500,000 to not only donate pork to Iowa food banks, but beef as well. They will be partnering with Iowa beef producers as well as the Animal Science Department at Iowa State University, according to Gregg.The task force is also working on solutions for turkey, egg and dairy producers.
"Along similar lines of creating our own supply chains, we've been hearing from food bank purchasing directors that they're struggling to procure some of their typical shelf-stable products, like rice, oatmeal and pasta, through their normal distribution centers" Gregg said.
To combat that, $1 million will be dedicated to purchasing those types of products.
Another $60,000 will go to AmeriCorps efforts through Volunteer Iowa. Another $1 million will in grants will go to Iowa's food banks to assist in the increased costs and challenges they're facing with food acquisition as well as to cover increased supply costs.
Finally, another $1 million will be dedicated to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which is run by Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, according to Gregg. That program seeks to provide a one-to-one match of SNAP dollars to be used to buy fresh produce. That helps Iowans in need as well as specialty crop farmers.
Iowa launches $24M Disposable Assistance Program to help pork producers
Gov. Reynolds announced she'll be allocating $24 million through the Iowa Disposable Assistance Program to support pork producers, who've been forced to euthanize hogs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
During Thursday's press conference, Iowa Department of Agriculture Sec. Mike Naig said pork production had lost about 25% of its processing capacity. That's causing a back up of around 600,000 pigs, according to Naig.
Naig did say that processing capacity is improving every week across the state. As of Thursday, the state is at about 80%. However, farmers still have to make tough decisions due to the loss in production capacity.
IDPH confirms outbreak at Tyson Foods plant in Storm Lake
Sarah Reisetter with the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed the outbreak during Gov. Kim Reynolds press conference on Thursday. Reisetter said 555 workers tested positive at the facility.
Watch Gov. Reynolds full press conference on YouTube:
Iowa sees jump in number of unemployment applications
A new reports shows Iowa saw a jump in the number of people filing for unemployment last week compared to the week prior as the country deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
A report released Thursday the by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 14,586 new claims filed between May 17 and May 23. That was an increase from the previous week, when 13,040 people filed unemployment claims in Iowa.
The release says more than $661 million in benefits has been paid out since April 4. Those industries with the most claims last week included manufacturing, which saw more than 3,800 claims, health care and social assistance, with right at 1,400 claims and retail, with more than 900 claims.
Reporting by The Associated Press
Hinterland Music Festival postponed to 2021
Hinterland Music Festival 2020 will not be happening. A Facebook post says the festival will be back Aug. 6-8, 2021.
All tickets purchased for 2020 will be valid for next year, where the festival says artists like Leon Bridges and Of Monsters and Men will be performing.
Refund requests will be accepted until July 17, 2020.
Bars, wineries, social clubs and more can reopen today
Bars, distilleries, wineries and social or fraternal clubs can reopen today if they choose to. These businesses must follow the same public health measure as restaurants including limiting capacity to 50%, enforcing social distancing guidelines and limited group sizes to ten people or less.
May 27, 2020
Adel Volunteer Fire & Rescue not doing birthday parades 'for time being'
A recent tradition in one central Iowa community amid the pandemic is being put on hold.
Adel firefighters announced on Facebook Wednesday they're not doing birthday parades for the 'time being,' due to Governor Reynolds loosening restrictions and busy schedules.
More information from their social media announcement is available here.
Dallas County Conservation Board announces partial reopening plan
As restrictions from COVID-19 continue to loosen across Iowa, the Dallas County Conservation Board will start partially reopening some of its facilities.
Officials announced their plan on Facebook. They say the reopening will start on Friday.
DMPS will compete in high school baseball, softball this summer
Starting June 1, softball and baseball practices will resume for Des Moines Public Schools. That's according to a release sent out by the district.
With that also comes games. Activities directors are currently finalizing the details to begin the season on June 15. The release also states that teams will be expected to "strictly abide" the guidelines set forth by the Iowa Department of Education and Department of Public Health.
Coaches and activities directors are responsible for making sure all of those guidelines are followed. Teams that don't follow them will have to end their season.
Lakeside Hotel Casino to reopen June 3 for the general public
Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola is sharing their reopening plans. A release from the casino says the establishment will have a soft reopening to invited guests on June 1 and 2.
They will reopen to the general public on June 3 at 10 a.m. The release also says there will be "increased safety and sanitation policies" to keep staff and patrons safe and healthy.
Seating will situated to allow for proper social distancing, and they will close nightly to deep clean the property. Employees will have their temperatures checked before entering the property and will be required to wear face masks.
The casino will also be reserving their first hour of operations Monday-Friday for guests 50-years and older. More information on Lakeside's reopening, click/tap right here.
Iowa Dept. of Human Services launches free counseling for Iowans impacted by COVID-19
Iowans impacted by the novel coronavirus will have the option to utilize free counseling courtesy of the Iowa Dept. of Public Health and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It's called "COVID Recovery Iowa" and is available starting Wednesday. Counseling will be via virtual sessions, chat or phone call.
Iowans can access services through the following options:
- Call 800-447-1985 to connect with a counselor specializing in rural issues and agriculture 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Call the Iowa Warm Line, 844-775-9276, to connect with a peer counselor or request to get in touch with a COVID Recovery Iowa counselor.
- Visit www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org and complete a contact form and a counselor will get back to you.
Moratorium for renters and homeowners ends at midnight
On Tuesday Governor Reynolds said she would not be extending the moratorium for renters and homeowners who were given temporary extensions on their monthly payments during the COVID-19 crisis.
The state is setting up an initiative called the Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program. The program is still being set up and very few details have been released.
Two businesses in Ankeny temporarily closing due to an employee affected by COVID-19
Tasty Tacos in Ankeny and Whiskey River both posted to their Facebook pages that they were closing their doors for the week to allow for extra time for deep cleaning after one of their employees contracted the coronavirus.
According to the posts, the employee is feeling well and was not at work while experiencing the symptoms.
May 26, 2020
FEMA released a list of counties with growing cases, Buena Vista County is on that list
A FEMA document obtained by ABC News lists the top 10 counties with the "high burden, growing" category with the highest number of cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks.
Buena Vista County is the seventh county listed. While the county only has 252 cases, that's 1,200 cases per 100,000 people. That doubles the amount in Polk County.
Daughter says Iowa failed to protect her dad, 86, from virus
The daughter of an Iowa nursing home resident who died suddenly in a coronavirus outbreak says the state could have done more to stop the spread and protect vulnerable citizens such as her father.
Roger Coe, 86, died Friday at the Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa after the virus quickly spread through the home. The center said Monday that 48 residents and 13 employees have tested positive over roughly the last two weeks.
Sherrie Coe of Fort Collins, Colorado, said her father was known for wheeling himself to the nurses’ station every day and playing his harmonica for anyone who would listen. She says his death is sad and tough to take because she believes it could have been prevented with stricter mitigation strategies.
Reporting by The Associated Press, Ryan J. Foley
Another nursing home test site launching in Bremer County Wednesday
Another testing site for a nursing home is going up in Bremer County starting Wednesday, May 27. This is not a TestIowa site.
The Iowa Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services and the National Guard are teaming up to set up the testing site.
The site will be located at Waverly Shell Rock Middle School on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A release from the IDPH says tests at the site are appointment only and are supported by the long-term care testing strike teams initiative the state is standing up to test nursing home staff.
Adventureland Park reopening for season pass holders on June 3, general public on June 5
Adventureland Park announced that they will be reopening starting on June 3. That's only for season pass holders, however. The park plans to reopen for the general public starting on June 5.
The park will operate under the guidelines issued under Gov. Reynolds latest proclamation that allows them to reopen.
Iowa farmers, ranchers can apply for financial assistance through USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
A release from the United States Department of Agriculture announced that Iowa's agricultural producers can now apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
This program "provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic."
Farmers and ranchers can download the CFAP application by clicking/tapping this link. Producers can also find a payment calculator on the site to help identify sales and inventory records that are needed to apply and calculate potential payments.
Applications are being accepted until August 28, 2020.
Iowa Department of Public Health reports 2 more meat processing plant outbreaks
Two more meat processing plants have been confirmed by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Perdue Farms in Sioux Center reported an outbreak with 69 employees testing positive for COVID-19. The other outbreak is at Perdue Farms in Sioux City with 20 employees testing positive.
State to allocate funding from CARES Act to create COVID-19 eviction, foreclosure prevention program
Gov. Reynolds announced she'll be allocating funding from the CARES Act to help Iowans that are having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage. This relief program will be administered by the Iowa Finance Authority.
The program applies to residential evictions and foreclosures and will be available to Iowans "who have experienced a documented loss of income due to COVID-19 and are unable to pay their rent or mortgage payment."
Eligibility information will be available "soon," Reynolds said.
Reynolds added, "This is a reminder that you should be making your payments as usual, the moratorium was not a freeze on payments, but rather a necessary public health protection to ensure that I once we're able to stay in their homes at the height of the emergency."
Gov. Kim Reynolds announces proclamation extension, reopening of several businesses
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at her Tuesday morning press conference that she will be extending the public health emergency proclamation through June 25. She also announced several businesses can reopen in the upcoming weeks.
Effective Thursday, May 28, the following businesses will be able to reopen in Iowa:
- Social/fraternal clubs
These businesses must follow the same public health measures as restaurants, including limiting normal operating capacity to 50% and social distancing.
Live bands or musicians can perform at bars and restaurants, but they must also follow social distancing protocols with their group, audience members.
Effective Monday, June 1, these businesses will be able to reopen:
- Speedways, racetracks
- Amphitheaters, grandstands
- Casinos, gaming facilities
- Amusement parks
- Bowling alleys
- Pool halls
Again, these businesses must operate at 50% capacity and follow social distancing protocols.
WATCH: Tuesday morning's full press conference below:
Iowa State University planning to limit Jack Trice capacity to 30,000
A release from Athletic Director Jamie Pollard to Cyclone fans reassures that Iowa State University will have football games this fall, with some stipulations.
For one, seating at Jack Trice Stadium will be limited to 50% capacity, or 30,000 fans. The release says 22,000 season tickets have been renewed for fall, which leaves about 8,000 seats to be filled.
The following guidelines are to be implemented for this year:
- Any fan who does not renew their season tickets and make their Cyclone Club donation by June 12, 2020 will not be provided the opportunity to attend any games this fall unless it is later decided that we can safely exceed the 50% capacity restriction.
- The only fans who will have the opportunity to be in the stadium this fall are those who renew their season tickets and their required Cyclone Club donation (if applicable) by June 12, 2020. If you have not done so already, please contact our staff ASAP to complete those processes. +Renew Now
- Because we expect to reach the 50% capacity limitation through season ticket sales, we do not anticipate selling single-game tickets unless the capacity limits are raised.
- Any season ticket holder who does not renew their season tickets for 2020 will continue to have first rights on their same seats for 2021. We believe it is very important to honor prior loyalty, as there may be some fans who are not comfortable attending games this fall or are experiencing financial challenges.
- Any season ticket holder who renews their season tickets but later decides they are not comfortable attending games this fall because of COVID-19 may request a refund of their season ticket purchase or defer the purchase of their season ticket to the 2021 season.
The release concluded with the fact that there "is no reasonable way to guarantee that no one will contract the COVID-19 virus," however, they are working on mitigation measures to reduce as much spread as possible. Those will be released at a later date.
Parking meter enforcement to resume in Downtown Des Moines, East Village
A release from the Des Moines Police Department says parking meter enforcement will resume starting June 1.
Enforcement had been suspended since March 21. Parking meters will be enforced Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.
More inmates, staff at Polk County Jail test positive
Three more staff and eight more inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Polk County Jail. In total, 97 inmates have tested positive and 12 staff have tested positive since Tuesday.
The website says 439 inmates and 175 staff members have been tested for the virus. According to the deputy, there are 788 inmates in the jail.
The Polk County Jail keeps updates of COVID-19 infections on their website.
Majority of sports for the 2020 Summer Iowa Games cancelled
The coronavirus pandemic has cancelled a majority of sports for the 2020 Iowa Summer Games presented by Grinnell Mutual in Ames.
“The Summer Iowa Games takes months of coordination and a tremendous amount of effort from our staff,” commented Chuck Long, Iowa Games CEO/Executive Director.
“There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and the reopening process so we cannot justify holding the Games as it puts our athletes, coaches, volunteers, and staff at risk.”
There are a few events that will still happen. You can find more information by clicking/tapping this link.
DMACC annouces 'DMACC Rx' as it prepares for fall classes
The Des Moines Area Community College is already planning on how it will welcome new and returning students for the fall semester amid the pandemic.
DMACC Rx, Rx meaning "real-time," will be the college's option for students to learn in an environment that keeps personal-contact learning and classroom structure. In short, they're online classes that follow the traditional face-to-face format.
“We’re all very excited about welcoming students back this fall,” said Rob Denson, President of DMACC. “We realize it’s been difficult for many of our students and their families. Our goal is to make the fall semester as stress free, safe and rewarding for them as possible. It’s a great way to start preparing for a successful career. And, the prescription for success is DMACC Rx, real-time virtual classes.”
Denson said they're also working hard to keep students safe who take classes on DMACC campuses this fall by deep cleaning buildings and purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for students, faculty and staff.
The DMACC semester begins August 26, and registration is now open.
WATCH: Complete coronavirus coverage on Local 5's YouTube channel