COVID-19: The latest
The North Central Iowa Presbytery Mission and Ministry Committee recently awarded four mission grants to the Greater Greene County Presbyterian Churches.
Each church submitted grant applications to help the most vulnerable in the county deal with needs that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction was awarded $1,500 toward the Good Samaritan Fund program of the Greene County Clergy Association. The First United Presbyterian Church in Paton was awarded $1,500 toward the Action Resource Center (ARC) food pantry.
The First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson was the recipient of two grants.
The first grant was $1,500 and will go to the Good Samaritan Fund. The second grant in the amount of $1,500 will go to the Food Bank of Iowa with funds designated to the ARC in Jefferson.
• Having difficulty keeping up with what’s open and what’s closed in Iowa? Just a reminder that Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 6 made it again OK to perform dental services and to go camping at public or private campgrounds.
Tanning facilities have also reopened.
Reynolds announced Wednesday that salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments can reopen, “with appropriate public health measures in place,” effective May 15.
However, social, community, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people remain prohibited until 11:59 p.m. May 27.
Bars, movie theaters, casinos and bowling alleys remain closed.
Reynolds said she “strongly” encourages all vulnerable Iowans to limit activities outside the home.
As of Tuesday, there were 13,289 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 306 deaths.
Greene County as of Tuesday has recorded 13 confirmed cases and one hospitalization since the state began tracking cases.
• The Jefferson Public Library will remain closed after the board of trustees voted Monday.
The trustees will discuss the closure again at their June 8 meeting.
The library, which closed on March 18 due to COVID-19, will continue to offer limited services until it reopens, 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.
• A virtual event Friday night will kick off Relay for Life fundraising for 2020 at a time when the American Cancer Society is financially challenged with the cancellation or postponement of Relays due to COVID-19.
Like many others, the Relay for Life of Greene County planned for April 24 needed to be rescheduled. The Relay — “We are HOPE!” — is now slated for Aug. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Greene County Community Center.
The local Relay for Life team will host “Ready, set, HOPE!” at 8 p.m. Friday on Facebook.
“During this difficult time, cancer won’t stop, and neither will we,” said Tina Coleman, senior community development manager for the American Cancer Society, who assists the Greene County event leadership team.
Like and follow the Relay for Life of Greene Co Facebook page to stay current, and visit www.relayforlife.org/greenecountyiowa for more information.
• Events that were postponed once are being postponed again.
The Kiwanis Club of Jefferson has again postponed its chicken dinner, this time to Aug. 30.
Existing tickets will be honored.
• Bishop Walker Nickless, of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City, announced Friday that the suspension of public Masses will remain until further notice.
Nickless suspended public Masses and a variety of other church-related events on March 16 for an initial eight weeks in reaction to COVID-19.
Since then, Nickless has enhanced diocesan-wide communications, created a COVID-19 task force and consulted with leadership from the other three Iowa Catholic dioceses. All four Iowa bishops signed a joint statement continuing the suspension of public Masses across the state for an undetermined time period in response to a resolution issued by Gov. Kim Reynolds authorizing public church services at the discretion of spiritual leadership.
Nickless said Friday that all decisions in regards to returning to public liturgies in the Sioux City Diocese “will be based on science, data and CDC and public health recommendations.”
The dispensation for the Sunday obligation to attend Mass remains.
• Des Moines Area Community College students will be guaranteed a full refund if fall classes are canceled due to COVID-19, the school announced this week.
The guarantee applies to all students taking in-person or online classes at any of DMACC’s six campuses or six centers.
“We wanted to eliminate the risk and concern that students have about pursuing their education in these uncertain times,” DMACC President Rob Denson said Monday in a statement. “The refund will be given with no questions and no delay if a class is canceled. The education and peace of mind of all of our students is our only priority.”
The fall semester is expected to start Aug. 26.
• The Republican Party of Iowa will be holding its 2020 state convention June 13 by mail, GOP leaders announced last week.
The State Central Committee voted unanimously to mail paper ballots to all state convention delegates.
Using paper ballots for the district convention process proved to be an overwhelming success, the party said, with more than 80 percent of delegates participating in the process — higher participation than in-person district conventions.
More updates will be posted to www.iowagop.org/conventions as they become available.