COVID-19: The latest
In-person shopping at the Greene County Farmers’ Market will be postponed until alternative arrangements can be made for both venue and sales methods.
To open amid the pandemic, organizer Chris Henning explained this week, the market will need controlled entrances and exits, and it will be a strictly transactional market, meaning no lingering, no group shopping, no kids, no dogs, no community dinner or ready-to-eat food available, and no seating.
Nonfood items such as arts and crafts may not be sold, with the exception of protective masks.
The market will also need access to bathrooms and running water for sanitation procedures.
Henning noted that most of those requirements aren’t available at the current courthouse venue. Even still, the courthouse isn’t currently open to the public.
In the meantime, the market is encouraging vendors to sell via its Facebook page (facebook.com/greenecountyfarmersmarket).
• Requests for an absentee ballot in the June 2 primary election must be received by May 24, according to the Greene County Auditor’s Office.
If voters haven’t received an absentee ballot request form in the mail from the Iowa Secretary of State and would like to request a form, they may request one from the auditor’s office or by visiting https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteeinfo.html to print one off.
In-person absentee voting opened Monday in the east lobby of the Greene County courthouse.
Voters may enter by the east door only or vote curbside, as the courthouse continues to be closed to the public until further notice.
In-person voting runs from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Members of the public are encouraged to follow public health guidelines and shouldn’t enter the building if they currently have symptoms or have been around anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.
• The Jefferson Public Library, which closed on March 18 due to COVID-19, is going to stay closed despite permission from Gov. Kim Reynolds to reopen on May 1.
Director Jane Millard said the health and safety of the community and staff is their highest priority. The library will remain closed until further notice.
However, the library will continue to offer limited services until it reopens to the public, including curbside pickup and delivery.
Call the library at 515-386-2835 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to make arrangements to check out books, movies, magazines, puzzles and board games.
No overdue fees will be charged while the library is closed.
The library board of trustees will discuss a date to reopen the library at their meeting on Monday.
• The Greene County Community Center reopened May 1, but with restrictions.
Children younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult from the same household.
Classes of 10 participants or fewer may resume if six feet of distance can be maintained.
No team games will be allowed, with a limit of 10 individuals per half-court. The racquetball room is limited to one person.
Gym users are responsible for disinfecting the equipment they use with provided disinfectant.
• Superintendent Tim Christensen said Tuesday that voluntary educational enrichment for Greene County Schools students will continue until May 29.
The district has also designated June 1 and 2 as days that students in grades 1-8 and current 12th graders will need to turn in Chromebooks They’ll be collected from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Greene County Elementary.
• Staff at Greene County Middle School have been working to load student locker contents into individual plastic bags in preparation to return the bags to each student/parent/guardian.
Staff will return locker contents throughout the day Friday using a process similar to how Chromebooks were distributed.
Bags may be picked up on the west side of the building during these times: 8 to 9:45 a.m. for fifth grade; 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. for sixth grade; noon to 1:45 p.m. for seventh grade; 1:45 to 3:30 p.m. for eighth grade.
Staff will also distribute books purchased by Grow Greene County.
Items from athletic lockers, band instruments and items from lost and found also need claimed.
In return, the school is asking that students return items that belong to the school at this time, including library books, band/choir shirts, athletic uniforms, textbooks or other materials.
Students unable to make it to the school on May 8 should email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for a later pickup date. No items will be given out early.
• The Iowa Department of Human Services on Tuesday announced additional financial support for child care providers.
As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, DHS received a supplemental allocation of $31.9 million on April 14, and developed a plan to dispense funds to support child care providers during the pandemic.
DHS announced plans to provide a monthly stipend of $2,000 to open licensed centers and $500 to open registered homes; and to provide an additional monthly stipend of $2,000 to licensed centers and $500 to registered homes providing a 25 percent discount to essential services personnel.
Additionally, providers would be paid for unlimited absences and full-day care for school-age children. DHS also will provide hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies directly to providers.