COVID-19: The latest
Another pandemic casualty: The 2020 Greene County Fair has been canceled for the most part, the county fair board announced.
The board, along with Greene County Extension, announced the decision Monday to postpone a majority of the fair’s annual events, including all grandstand and grounds entertainment, commercial exhibits, open-class exhibits and many other events with public gatherings.
The board cited the wellbeing and health of youth and adult volunteers, entertainment contracts, exhibitors, vendors, sponsorships and advertising in its decision.
“It was determined this was the best decision due to the uncertainty of what the public health situation may look like by the beginning of July,” the board stated.
It’s hoped that 4-H and FFA participants will still be able to showcase their accomplishments.
Details regarding 4-H/FFA exhibits have yet to be finalized, with plans to email those families soon.
• Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that, effective May 22, movie theaters and museums will be permitted to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place.
Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons.
Additionally, summer school activities, including baseball and softball, will resume on June 1.
Effective May 28, bars and other establishments that have been limited to carryout and delivery will be permitted to reopen for indoor or outdoor seating.
• Greene County continues to see community spread of COVID-19, Greene County Public Health announced late on May 14.
Greene County at that time had recorded 14 confirmed cases. Nine had recovered, and a total of 1,163 people have been tested.
Greene County Public Health has a COVID-19 Hotline available at 515-386-0564. Calls are answered daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Greene County Public Health is reminding residents to continue to social distance, wash hands and wear a mask in public.
• Some Iowa state agency websites will be down, or in some cases not updating, due to planned systems maintenance, the state announced this week.
The maintenance will be performed between 4 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Of note, the state’s coronavirus website, coronavirus.iowa.gov, will not reflect accurate counts during the period.
However, all case counts will be brought up to date by 6 a.m. Monday.
• Jefferson City Hall reopened Monday to the public. Regular business hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The Greene County Community School District is making plans to transition from the current grab-and-go lunch program to its summer lunch program.
That means May 28 will be the last day that Greene County Schools will serve meals under its current meal structure. The district will resume on June 8 with its summer lunch program.
The district hopes to use the Grand Junction Community Center and Greene County Elementary School as serving sites. (Kids from Scranton and Rippey would be transported there.) The district plans to follow social distancing requirements and limit the number of people at the sites at any one time.
However, if the district is unable to immediately begin with the summer lunch service model, it will begin with a sack lunch service delivery model, with meals available from the Rippey Community Center, Grand Junction Community Center, Scranton Community Center and Greene County Elementary.
In switching to the summer lunch program, kids will be required to personally pick up their meals. The district will only be providing lunch, not breakfast.
• Greene County Elementary School is organizing a staff parade for the afternoon of May 29, the official last day of school.
A map route will be released soon.
The parade will start in Scranton at 4 p.m. and extend to Jefferson, Grand Junction and Rippey.
• ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support), which provides services to survivors of violence in Greene, Boone, Story, Marshall and Tama counties, is reminding the community that advocates are ready to serve victims of violent crime as the pandemic potentially amplifies the need.
Due to social distancing guidelines, victims of violence could be at greater risk because they may not be able to leave the home or situation they’re in.
Children who are experiencing abuse at home have become isolated from adults at schools and day care centers. Schools and day care centers are usually first to notice signs of abuse.
ACCESS help lines are running 24/7 and advocates are offering remote advocacy by using telehealth-style video appointments and phone-based services.
Services are free and confidential.
The help lines are as follows:
Domestic abuse and violent crimes: 515-292-0519
Sexual abuse: 515-292-5378
• The Diocese of Sioux City announced Friday it’s not yet setting a date to resume public Masses, reiterating that it “will continue to base decisions on scientific data and reliable projections.”
The criteria for reopening, the diocese stated, includes a downward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases reported within a 14-day period; the downward trajectory of hospital bed, intensive care and ventilator usage; and the downward trajectory of daily death reports.
Additionally, “it is necessary to have adequate contact-tracing and a robust testing program,” the diocese announced Friday.
The diocese has created an online document with considerations, Mass preparation and instructions in an effort to educate the faithful prior to the opening of parishes. The entire document is available at https://scdiocese.org/resuming-mass-protocols in English and Spanish.
One of the protocols will be that the Catholic faithful must wear face masks to attend Mass. Pastors may need to recruit mask makers in order to have enough masks for parishioners.
The document will be published in its entirety in the May 21 edition of The Catholic Globe, the official diocesan newspaper.