IDPH confirms coronavirus outbreak at Tyson pork processing plant in Storm LakeDes Moines Register: Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter confirmed today the suspected coronavirus outbreak at Tyson Foods’ pork processing plant in Storm Lake, where more than 20% of the employees have tested positive. The news comes one day after Reisetter said […]

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Wednesday it will extend its previously announced COVID-19 benefits, which would have expired on June 16, now through Aug. 31. The benefits include member cost-share waivers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, virtual visits and support for business customers. The extension also includes payment parity for providers of virtual health care […]

Des Moines Register: University of Iowa experts warned this week that premature easing of social distancing rules could spark a coronavirus surge, adding that encouraging the public to wear plastic face shields could substantially reduce the danger. The transparent shields cover people’s entire faces. Cloth face masks, even if worn properly, cover only the mouth and […]

Cedar Rapids Gazette: Gov. Kim Reynolds and a top state public health official said today the information-gathering process is one reason the state does not voluntarily identify new coronavirus outbreaks at businesses like food processing plants until asked by media members. Not immediately announcing outbreaks also gives those business owners time to notify employees and community […]

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has awarded $100,000 from its Disaster Recovery Fund to support the Central Iowa Ethnic Community-Based Organizations fund, an initiative of the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa. The funding will support 17 local groups that work with refugee populations in both case management and direct services.  “This fund will […]

Des Moines Register: Paychecks for nearly a quarter of Principal Financial Group’s employees will be smaller, the giant Des Moines-based investment and retirement services company said Tuesday. Principal said it’s cutting salaries for 23% of its global workforce to “mitigate and manage” the economic and market fallout from COVID-19. Principal employs about 18,000 people worldwide and […]

Iowa gives the OK to casinos, amusement parks, outdoor entertainment eventsDes Moines Register: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ratcheted back further restrictions today, allowing casinos and amusement parks to reopen next week and easing additional safeguards on bars and restaurants. Reynolds said at her daily coronavirus briefing that casinos and gaming facilities, amusement parks, bowling alleys, pool […]

The Des Moines Public Library will begin offering curbside pickup service of library materials at all locations beginning June 1 as the library begins reintroducing services to the community. Beginning today, patrons with active library cards can start reserving new items through the online catalog or by calling the library telephone reference line at 515-283-4152 […]

As meatpacking plants reopen, data about worker illness remains elusiveNew York Times: Meatpacking facilities have proved to be places where the virus spreads rapidly. But as dozens of plants that closed because of outbreaks begin reopening, meat companies’ reluctance to disclose detailed case counts makes it difficult to determine whether the contagion is contained or new […]

The Downtown Farmers’ Market is working on an online platform to further connect customers and vendors. According to a news release, the Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace Online is expected to launch in late May or early June. It will let vendors take online orders and arrange their own pickup or delivery location. All Downtown Farmers’ Market […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has released its DSM Forward playbooks for Construction and Development, and Financial and Professional Services, bringing to 16 the number of industry-specific playbooks that provide guidance to businesses as they begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Partnership had previously released playbooks for Agriculture, Child Care, Education, Events, Arts and Culture, Hotels, Gyms, Government, Health Care, Manufacturing, Nonprofits, Personal Services, Restaurants, Retail and Utilities. The playbooks […]

The Urbandale Indoor Swimming Pool and Senior Recreation Center will remain closed until at least July 6, the city announced this week. In addition, in-person parks and recreation programs are canceled through at least June 14. Park amenities including playgrounds, restrooms, shelters and other facilities also are closed until at least mid-June. The closures are […]

Rising costs of products, delivery fees and lack of customers make it difficult for restaurants to return to pre-COVID-19 revenue levels The owners and operators of Iowa’s 6,200-plus restaurants were relieved this month when COVID-19 restrictions were eased, allowing dining rooms to reopen to customers. But the relaxing of restrictions doesn’t mean the state’s restaurants […]

Utility customers who are delinquent on their payments could be subject to disconnection after Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proclamation easing some restrictions and reopening some businesses expires May 27. The Iowa Utilities Board issued an order on Wednesday that creates requirements utility companies must follow before they can begin disconnecting a customer’s utilities. According to a […]

Linn County health official says Test Iowa, lack of data leave county at disadvantageDes Moines Register: A top health emergency response official in eastern Iowa told Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration this week that local officials struggled to get basic data from the Test Iowa coronavirus testing site in Cedar Rapids, which made it difficult to make […]

More than $500M in aid heading to Iowa hospitals covers only half of COVID-19 lossesIowa Public Radio: Iowa hospitals received $190.3 million in CARES Act relief fund payments in April and were expecting as much as $360 million more in a second round of federal relief aid underway now, interviews and documents shared with IowaWatch show. […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation today that will enable a number of public gathering venues to reopen on a restricted basis.  Effective Friday, movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums and wedding reception venues will be permitted to reopen with appropriate public health measures in place. Swimming pools will also be permitted to reopen for lap swimming […]

U.S. workplace safety agency steps up COVID-19 inspectionsReuters: The U.S. Labor Department will expand inspections of businesses to reduce job-site hazards related to the new coronavirus as employees begin returning to work across the country, although the policy falls short of demands by worker advocates. The revised policy, issued late Tuesday by the Occupational Safety and […]

Farmers can apply next week for $16 billion in coronavirus aidCedar Rapids Gazette: Farmers facing big losses after the bottom dropped out of the food market in the COVID-19 pandemic this spring can start applying next week for a slice of $16 billion in aid, the Trump administration said Tuesday. The funds, mostly from the CARES […]

The United Way of Central Iowa will be moving its annual Live United event online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event is scheduled for 10:30-11:30 a.m. on May 29. During the celebration, the annual Community Impact Report will be released, and the winners for the Live United Awards will be announced, […]

The Central Iowa Business Conference, hosted by the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce, has been postponed until 2021. The fourth annual CIBC will now be held Sept. 14, 2021, at the Meadows Event Center. The keynote speaker lineup remains the same and includes Emmy Award-winning actor Henry Winkler, business management pioneer Jack Stack and best-selling author […]

The Insurance Information Institute has launched an information campaign with a focus on “ensuring the insurance industry is able to sustain its longstanding role as the country’s backbone of economic growth and stability” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Future of American Insurance & Reinsurance (FAIR) campaign seeks to address threats to the industry from “growing calls to […]

NYSE issues warning about Lee Enterprises listingQuad-City Times: Lee Enterprises has received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange about its stock listing and the possibility of its listing being downgraded. Lee, the Davenport-based parent company of the Quad-City Times and other media, said Monday that it received a warning from the NYSE about it […]

Iowa cities with meatpacking plants struggle to get information on COVID-19 casesDes Moines Register: Across Iowa, communities with meatpacking plants are struggling to get information from companies and public health officials about COVID-19 outbreaks. Officials say the lack of transparency makes it difficult for cities and towns to assess the virus’s threat as Gov. Kim Reynolds […]

At last week’s Power Breakfast, we heard about broadband, how you can help local hotels, the rise of telehealth and even the “pandemic pineapple,” thanks to speaker Deidre DeJear, owner of Caleo Enterprises. The action-packed event included nine speakers, all leaders in their respective industries across the region and state.  “The message that I have […]

Nonprofit input is critical in informing Iowa public policy and resource allocation for COVID-19 response and recovery. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines encourages your participation in the Iowa Economic Development Authority Business and Nonprofit Impact Survey. The IEDA, in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa’s Institute for Decision Making, has released a […]

Board of Regents dropping Iowa Public Radio fundingCedar Rapids Gazette: After creating Iowa Public Radio in 2004, Iowa’s Board of Regents — facing its own unprecedented financial hurt from COVID-19 — is cutting its operating support, amounting to 10% of IPR’s budget. In a message to supporters last week, IPR Executive Director Myrna Johnson broke the […]

The city of Ankeny is extending closures and announcing new cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cancelling all events and programming at public facilities until May 27, the city announced this week. The Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library remains closed but is offering curbside service. More information on specific services and events is available online.  

Des Moines is among the areas of the country most capable of recovering quickly from the economic crash caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis done by the credit rating and research company Moody’s. The analysis, reported by Yahoo Finance on May 9, examined the top 100 metro areas in the U.S. The metros […]

Coronavirus drives 75% of small businesses to seek federal aidWall Street Journal: Three out of four U.S. small businesses have sought federal aid to cope with fallout from the new coronavirus, according to a Census Bureau survey released today in another indication of the widespread damage caused by the pandemic. The survey found that 75% of […]

More than 15,000 Iowans last week filed first-time jobless claims, the lowest number since the state was essentially shut down in mid-March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. New data released by Iowa Workforce Development shows that 15,411 unemployed Iowans filed unemployment insurance claims during the week that ended May 9, 37% fewer […]

The first virtual Iowa Arts Summit will be held on Aug. 7, Iowa Cultural Affairs announced this week. Past summits have attracted more than 300 attendees. This year’s summit will focus on “moving from relief to resilience,” the Iowa Arts Council said in a statement. Sessions will explore adaptability, community engagement and inclusive arts programming […]

Zoom to expand in U.S. with engineering centers in Phoenix, PittsburghReuters: Zoom Video Communications Inc. said today that it plans to hire 500 software engineers for research and development locations in Phoenix and Pittsburgh over the next two years, expanding its engineering workforce by about 60%. The San Jose, Calif.-based videoconferencing company has seen a large […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has released more DSM Forward industry-specific playbooks devoted to helping businesses and industries prepare for next steps related to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The four additional industry areas covered are manufacturing; nonprofits; events, arts and culture; and hotels. The DSM Forward playbooks include recommendations — leveraging international, national, state and […]

Airlines are having trouble enforcing their face mask policiesCNN Business: Plans from several major U.S. airlines on how to enforce their mandatory mask requirements reveal that, for the most part, they will rely on passenger cooperation rather than strict enforcement. Separate memos obtained by CNN that American Airlines sent to its pilots and flight attendants show […]

The Des Moines Arts Festival has canceled this year’s event, and instead will focus on engaging the community through interactive experiences and continuing to support professional development of artists, organizers announced Tuesday.  This year’s festival was scheduled for June 26-28, but organizers said they decided to call it off because of the uncertainty surrounding the […]

The Iowa Department of Human Services announced additional financial support for foster group care and shelter care providers. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act provided an allocation of $476,722 in discretionary funding for child welfare services to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic. Due to school closures, foster group care […]

Polk County among 10 in U.S. where coronavirus has spread fastestDes Moines Register: Polk County late last week was among the 10 counties in the United States where the coronavirus was spreading fastest, a Des Moines Register analysis of national COVID-19 data confirmed. An unreleased White House coronavirus task force report published by NBC News on […]

More than $93,000 has been awarded to 26 local nonprofit organizations through the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines’ COVID-19 Nonprofit Adaptation Grant Program. The program provides assistance to support unanticipated needs that organizations may experience as they continue providing critical services or reimagining their “operational effectiveness for the emerging future,” officials with the foundation said […]

Meredith delays quarterly earnings report, says coronavirus has hit its business hardDes Moines Register: Saying it is facing “an extremely challenging business environment” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meredith Corp. informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it is delaying its quarterly earnings report, which was due Monday. The Des Moines-based media company, which operates more than […]

Trump says U.S. will purchase $3 billion in agricultural products from farmersThe Hill: President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the U.S. will buy $3 billion in agricultural products from American farmers starting early this week. “Starting early next week, at my order, the USA will be purchasing, from our Farmers, Ranchers & Specialty Crop Growers, 3 […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is helping businesses get ready for the next steps of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, launching a series of industry-specific playbooks. The playbooks include recommendations, such as leveraging federal, state and local resources and following public health recommendations, to help business and industry find a path as the economy continues […]

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released updated state-by-state figures for Economic Impact Payments, with approximately 130 million individuals receiving payments worth more than $200 billion in the program’s first four weeks. In Iowa, more than 1.2 million payments have been made totaling $2,212,426,465, the agencies said. More than 150 million payments will […]

U.S. Cellular donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa COVID-19 Relief Fund, the company announced Thursday. The Central Iowa club was one of seven in Iowa and Nebraska that received a total of $60,000. The others are: Ames ($5,000), Cedar Rapids ($10,000), Davenport/Moline ($10,000), Dubuque ($10,000), Omaha/Council Bluffs ($10,000) and Waterloo ($5,000). […]

State auditor to review fairness of relief grant programCorridor Business Journal: State Auditor Rob Sand will review a statewide emergency grant program following questions and criticism by some of the economically devastated small business owners it was intended to help. “I am looking into it,” Sand, the state’s watchdog, said of the Small Business Relief Program […]

Iowa shifts focus from coronavirus mitigation to managementCedar Rapids Gazette: Thanks to enough people following guidelines on social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday the state is able to shift its COVID-19 focus from mitigation strategies to managing the impact on Iowans. Even as the state Department of Public Health reported 655 […]

The World Food Prize Foundation announced that its second Digital Dialogue, “Defining Medium to Long-term Improvements for Resilient Food Systems,” will be held May 14. Five global experts will examine the medium- to longer-term needs for reshaping the food system, especially as espoused in numerous global calls to action and open letters in circulation. “The COVID crisis […]

Employers must try to accommodate workers vulnerable to coronavirus, agency saysReuters: The U.S. agency that enforces laws prohibiting disability discrimination said today that employers must try to accommodate workers with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the novel coronavirus before sending them home. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released legal guidance saying employers have a […]

Reynolds allows more Iowa business to reopenCedar Rapids Gazette: Starting Friday, Iowans across the state will have more latitude to go to the dentist and stay overnight at campgrounds, and in the hardest hit parts of the state visit malls and retail stores. But, notably, the revised order issued Wednesday evening by Gov. Kim Reynolds does […]

A new grant program is being launched to help small business owners recover from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, along with the cities of Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston, Indianola, Norwalk, West Des Moines, Clive, Windsor Heights and Carlisle, and Polk and Warren counties, have launched the Small Business Recovery […]

Those who submit a donation of $5.15 or more to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines’ Disaster Recovery Fund through May 10 can receive a free Pro Iowa soccer scarf from USL Pro Iowa, the organization announced this week. Those who donate should forward the confirmation email they receive from the Community Foundation to info@ProIowa.com by […]

Submitted by: Mike Colwell, executive director of entrepreneurial initiative at the Greater Des Moines Partnership In our 24/7 news cycle, social-media-influenced world, everyone is judged in near real time. Recently Bill Gates announced his foundation would fund the construction of seven factories to produce COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The world judged him in a very positive […]

58% of employees at Tyson’s Perry plant test positive for COVID-19Radio Iowa: Officials have now confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at four Iowa meatpacking facilities. More than 700 of the employees at Tyson’s plant in Perry — that’s 58 percent of the workforce — have tested positive for the virus. The company had refused to reveal data […]

U.S. officials warn of new virus surge as states reopenWall Street Journal: U.S. researchers and officials warned about the possibility of a new surge in coronavirus cases as more states and countries begin to reopen their economies and relax social-distancing rules. The U.S. death toll from the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus could approach […]

At UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Foundation, donations to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund will be matched up to $50,000 as part of the Day of Global Action for Giving and Unity today (also known as #GivingTuesday), the foundation announced this week. The COVID-19 Crisis Fund is supported by community donors. UnityPoint Health employees can apply […]

Nearly 20,000 small businesses in Iowa have been approved to receive funding from the second round of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, newly released information shows. Through Friday, 19,997 Iowa small businesses have been approved to receive more than $781.6 million from the program, data posted on the Small Business Administration’s website shows. […]

The owners of several popular Central Iowa restaurants recently filed suit against their insurance companies, claiming that their business interruption insurance claims were wrongfully denied amid the ongoing state-mandated COVID-19 shutdown.   Gerleman Management Inc., whose restaurant businesses include Splash Seafood Bar & Grill and the Jethro’s barbecue restaurants, claims that its property and casualty insurer, […]

Following public health proclamations established by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Iowa Utilities Board is extending the winter moratorium that restricts the disconnection of utility services until May 27. The order directs all electric and natural gas utilities to cease disconnection of residential service due to nonpayment for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) qualified […]

4 more COVID-19 deaths reported in Iowa as state approaches 10,000 positive casesDes Moines Register: Another four people with COVID-19 have died, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported Monday, bringing the statewide total to 188. Additionally, 534 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. Statewide, 9,703 have tested […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is launching the DSM Day of Thanks on Wednesday to celebrate health care and other essential workers while practicing social distancing. Des Moines residents are encouraged to participate by hanging DSM Day of Thanks signs in the windows of homes and businesses; posting a thank-you message and photo on social […]

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has awarded grants of $20,000 each to 18 health and dental centers across Iowa. The $360,000 in COVID-19 response grants were awarded to help preserve access to care within Iowa’s safety net infrastructure during this challenging time for many Iowans. Each of the 18 safety net clinics and/or federal qualified health […]

Marshalltown man dies from COVID-19 after numerous attempts to get medical helpMarshalltown Times-Republican: A Marshalltown man died from COVID-19 after several attempts to get medical help, his wife said. Kyle Brown started feeling sick on April 17, while on the job as a maintenance technician at TPI in Newton. He died April 29 — 12 […]

Polk County surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases; state reports 8 new deathsDes Moines Register: Another eight people with COVID-19 have died, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported today, bringing the statewide total to 170. IDPH also reported that there were 739 new positive cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. Across the state, […]

Great Western Bank’s results turned sharply into loss territory for the company’s second fiscal quarter, as the company recognized impairment charges of $742.2 million in anticipation of market and valuation disruption from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Corridor Business Journal reported. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based regional bank reported a net loss per share of $740.6 million, or $13.25 […]

Iowa universities face uncertain future as they lose $190 million to COVID-19Iowa Capital Dispatch: During the Iowa Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, school officials from the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Iowa said they were already seeing financial stress due to unexpected costs related to COVID-19 and an expected drop […]

Livestock producers negatively affected by disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can now get support through a new Resource Coordination Center, state agriculture officials announced Thursday. “COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of our lives, including our food supply chain,” state Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said in a news release. “This […]

Iowa hits another new high for coronavirus-related deathsCedar Rapids Gazette: For the second consecutive day, the number of new coronavirus-related deaths reached a new high in Iowa, as the state confirmed 14 new deaths today. A total of 162 Iowa deaths have been confirmed since the virus first appeared here in early March. Across the state, […]

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund has rescheduled its annual Affordable Housing Week from April to the week of Oct. 12-17, the organization announced this week. PCHTF is continuing to offer its exhibit “Undesign the Redline: DSM” through virtual tours, available by appointment for organizations and community groups, or for public tours every Wednesday at […]

The state’s manufacturing, health care and professional service sectors will likely return to normal, albeit slowly, as the economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, while lower-pay, lower-skill jobs will be the slowest to recover, business experts said during a Des Moines Business Record panel discussion on the state of the labor market and the […]

Tyson to temporarily close Sioux City-area beef plant amid rising COVID-19 concernsSioux City Journal: Facing growing public scrutiny over an outbreak of COVID-19 at its Dakota City, Neb., beef plant, Tyson Fresh Meats said late Wednesday it will shut down the 4,300-employee facility for four days, beginning Friday. Tyson officials said the halt in production will […]

The technology subsidiary of West Des Moines-based Homesteaders Life Co., eFuneral Solutions LLC, announced it has developed a new online sales tool designed to facilitate remote sales by preneed counselors. It’s also offering the application, called eFuneral Agent, to all providers cost-free for the remainder of this year, regardless of whether they are currently using […]

Kading, an Urbandale-based property development company, is buying about $10,000 in meals from local restaurants to help its residents in 18 communities in Central Iowa during the coronavirus pandemic. The family-owned company has partnered with locally owned restaurants in Winterset, Indianola, Stuart and Adel to pay between $300 and $600 for meals in each community. […]

Iowa religious leaders call on churches to avoid gatherings despite state loosening rulesDes Moines Register: Leaders from more than a dozen Christian denominations are calling on Iowans to refrain from in-person religious gatherings despite Gov. Kim Reynolds’ lifting of some restrictions on religious services. Reynolds announced Monday that religious institutions can once again host gatherings that […]

Reynolds defends reopening process despite warning of ‘second wave’ of infectionsDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds today defended her decision to loosen some restrictions on businesses and religious gatherings in Iowa despite a warning from a University of Iowa report that doing so could lead to a second wave of cases. Calling the UI model “a […]

Hy-Vee Inc. announced Monday that all store and distribution center employees throughout its eight-state region are now required to wear masks or other facial coverings while at work. Hy-Vee provided masks to all employees over the past several weeks. The company has already installed temporary Plexiglas barriers at all checkout stands, pharmacy customer service and […]

UI researchers warn ‘a second wave of infections is likely’ if mitigation efforts are liftedDes Moines Register: Researchers at the University of Iowa warned Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration that it should keep COVID-19 mitigation efforts in place within the state or “a second wave of infections is likely.” The warning was included in a 12-page report […]

Iowa Workforce Development on Monday issued guidelines for employers to follow when workers being recalled from layoffs refuse to return to work. Refusing to return to work when recalled, or in an attempt to continue to draw unemployment benefits, will be considered a “voluntary quit,” which would disqualify a claimant from receiving benefits, including the […]

Boeing CEO sees slow recovery for global aviationWall Street Journal: Air traffic may not bounce back for two or three years, Boeing Co. Chief Executive David Calhoun said, outlining the tough outlook for global aviation to the plane maker’s shareholders today. “The health crisis is unlike anything we have ever experienced,” Calhoun said at the annual […]

Restaurants, retail stores and fitness centers can reopen on May 1 in 77 of the state’s 99 counties that have shown stabilization and downward trends in coronavirus cases, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today. Polk, Dallas, Jasper and Marshall counties in Central Iowa are among those where restrictions will not be lifted.  The announcement came as […]

Midwest governors have different reopening strategiesCedar Rapids Gazette: Governors nationwide are developing strategies for when and how to begin reopening businesses, parks and anything else temporarily closed by coronavirus mitigation efforts. The myriad plans are interesting and worth following as elected officials take different approaches. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday announced the first baby steps […]

The Iowa Credit Union League Foundation has raised just over $688,000 from businesses and individuals for its statewide Emergency Relief Fund, the organization announced. Of that amount, the foundation has distributed an initial 1,000 direct-relief cash grants of $500 each to families or small business owners who are experiencing financial hardship. About 10% of the […]

Des Moines Area Religious Council is launching a food pantry delivery service to meet the needs of vulnerable community members. People can call 833-362-7220 toll-free to request a delivery. The number will be staffed from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday, and food will be delivered to the person’s doorstep with no-contact drop-off the following business […]

Reynolds lifts bans on nonessential surgeries, farmers markets starting MondayDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds said today that she would lift Iowa’s ban on nonessential surgeries starting Monday. “Nonessential” surgical and dental procedures in the state have been banned since Reynolds issued a proclamation on March 26. She also announced today that farmers markets could begin […]

Actor Ashton Kutcher tipped Reynolds to COVID testing programIowa Capital Dispatch: Actor Ashton Kutcher was the first person to suggest that Iowa look into Utah’s expanded testing program for COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. Iowa this week launched TestIowa, the result of a $26 million contract with some Utah-based companies that will provide 540,000 COVID-19 […]

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced today that it has awarded $191,000 in grants to Iowa artists and small nonprofit arts organizations reeling from financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The first-round relief grants were limited to artists and small nonprofit arts organizations. In total, 156 Iowa artists each received a $1,000 award; 14 […]

Broadlawns Medical Center is launching the Broadlawns COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund and seeking additional community aid to support medical workers during COVID-19 response. The Disaster Relief Fund has been established to purchase personal protective equipment and other necessities to safeguard Broadlawns’ medical staff and patients; donations can be made online. Broadlawns is also selling CommUNITY shirts, mugs and […]

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation’s Business Horizons 2020 program, which was scheduled for July 19-23 at Central College in Pella, has been canceled due to COVID-19. The cancellation decision was simultaneous with Gov. Kim Reynolds’ school closure and summer event cancellation announcement this week, the foundation said in a news release. Applicants accepted this […]

U.S. business activity hits record lows amid coronavirus lockdownsReuters: U.S. business activity hit new record lows in April as the novel coronavirus severely disrupted manufacturing and services industry production, pushing the economy into uncharted waters. Data firm IHS Markit said on Thursday its flash U.S. Composite Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, plunged […]

MercyOne, one of Iowa’s largest health-care systems, invites community members to show their support for health-care and all essential workers by donating to the COVID-19 Relief Fund and then displaying printed heart decals in their windows or digital hearts on social media. Community members are invited to visit www.MercyOne.org/covid19 to order a T-shirt or window decals where […]

While some Iowa businesses received a boost from small business assistance grants disbursed by the state, others, battered by social distancing restrictions and layoffs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, continue to languish, worrying how long they can survive. “It was heartbreaking and added salt to the wound,” Cassie Sampson, owner of East Village […]

Coronavirus at meatpacking plants worse than first thought, investigation findsUSA Today: A rash of coronavirus outbreaks at dozens of meatpacking plants across the nation is far more extensive than previously thought, according to a review of cases by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.  And it could get worse. More than 150 of […]

Tyson closing Waterloo plant indefinitelyWaterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: Following criticism from public health officials over coronavirus concerns, Tyson Foods today announced it is indefinitely closing its meatpacking plant in Waterloo. “Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community […]

Local distilleries Foundry Distilling Co. and Cat’s Eye Distillery are partnering to produce a blended whiskey called Des Moines Strong, with all proceeds benefiting the Iowa Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Three hundred bottles of the initial Des Moines Strong release will be available in early May at local retailers, including Fareway stores, the distilleries said […]

UnityPoint Health announces furloughs, reduced staff hoursCedar Rapids Gazette: UnityPoint Health announced a reduction in staff hours, furloughs and pay cuts for its executive staff members starting next week as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials with the West Des Moines-based health system said today that these temporary measures “were needed to focus resources and […]

Tyson reopens Columbus Junction plant; new cases at JBS plant in MarshalltownDes Moines Register: Tyson Foods’ pork processing plant in Columbus Junction is resuming “limited operations” after closing for two weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak there. The company said the plant would reopen today. Tyson closed its location in southeast Iowa on April 6 after […]

To support its local communities during the COVID-19 crisis, Bank Iowa has launched Bank Iowa Helping Hand, a crowdsourcing initiative to identify both big and small needs across 23 Iowa communities. Through the initiative, anyone can submit a community-focused idea, task or charitable cause, and if selected, Bank Iowa will lend a helping hand through financial sponsorship […]

RAGBRAI called off for 2020 due to coronavirus concernsDes Moines Register: RAGBRAI organizers announced today that they will push this year’s ride — including the planned route — to July 25-31, 2021. The decision was made after “deep consideration” and conversations with key team members, organizers said. It will be the first time since its 1973 […]

More than 260 meatpacking workers test positive for COVID-19Iowa Capital Dispatch: More than 260 people were found to be positive for COVID-19 in expanded surveillance testing related to meatpacking plant outbreaks, the state reported Sunday. The positives from meatpacking employees made up 67% of the 389 total positive cases reported in Iowa Sunday. Iowa has recorded […]

MercyOne Medical Group-Central Iowa has consolidated its urgent care clinics and established a clinic specifically for patients with fever and upper respiratory infection symptoms, in an effort to provide better patient and staff safety and preserve personal protective equipment. MercyOne East Village at 1350 Des Moines St. now serves as the Fever and Upper Respiratory Infection Clinic. […]

Reynolds says schools will remain closed, Iowa will adopt phased reopening elsewhereDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to reopen Iowa using “a phased approach” that aligns with guidance issued by President Donald Trump, she announced today. The governor did not specify which businesses or entities may open first, or when they would get the green […]

Governor acknowledges suspected COVID-19 outbreak at Waterloo meatpacking plantDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday acknowledged a suspected COVID-19 outbreak at a meatpacking plant in Waterloo, where the local sheriff slammed “a small few” for not doing more to mitigate spread of the coronavirus. The potential outbreak at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant, which has […]

Reynolds tightens limits on activity in northeast Iowa in reaction to COVID-19 spikeDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds today ordered people in northeastern Iowa to limit their activity, including keeping visiting to only immediate family members, in reaction to a spike in COVID-19 activity there. Almost all gatherings outside of immediate household members are banned in […]

Many members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines today stopped work on residential construction sites to explain safety precautions being taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Work stopped for about 10 minutes at the sites, including Hubbell Realty Co.’s Della Vita development in West Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Hubbell […]

The Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation and Grinnell College, two of the largest employers in Poweshiek County, have joined forces with other community groups to provide funding for both immediate and post-COVID-19 pandemic needs in the area. Together, the two organizations are donating nearly $100,000 to four area resources. Jeff Menary, president and CEO of Grinnell Mutual, said […]

According to a new survey of health insurance companies recently released by eHealth Inc., nearly all the insurers surveyed said they are making changes to help consumers affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. A strong majority (97%) say they are waiving out-of-pocket costs associated with testing. Sixty percent of insurer respondents say they are currently offering some form […]

Des Moines-based Proteus Inc., a nonprofit that provides services to farmers in Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana, is collecting masks to help protect farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Farmworkers are essential workers,” said Proteus CEO Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel in a news release announcing the mask collection effort. “They contribute to supporting the food supply chain, agricultural economy, […]

Trump administration aims to buy milk, meat to help farmers hit by coronavirusReuters: The Trump administration plans to buy milk and meat from U.S. farmers as part of an initial $15.5 billion effort to help them weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said today. The decision comes amid rising pressure from […]

Columbus Junction pork processing plant hit hard by coronavirus with 186 positive cases​Des Moines Register: Soaring numbers of workers at the Columbus Junction pork-processing plant who have been sickened by COVID-19 have sparked fears not only for the employees’ health but also for the vitality of this small town and the continuity of the nation’s meat […]

Street Collective donates bikes for youths, materials for making face shieldsThe Des Moines Street Collective has donated four bikes through the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers and is donating used bicycle tubes to university students as 3D printing materials to make face shields for health workers, the collective announced this week. The collective’s shop is accepting material and […]

Fewer than 10% of Iowa’s small businesses have been approved to receive aid through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program designed to help companies weather the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, information provided to the Business Record shows. Through Monday, 22,295 Iowa small businesses had been approved to receive more than $3.74 billion from […]

Here’s what you need to know from today’s Des Moines Airport Authority Board meeting. 1.The board received a summary of the economic effect the coronavirus is having on the airport’s operation. This comes after it was announced Monday that the airport would close Concourse A because of reduced travel.  The airport has seen a 48% reduction […]

The Iowa Department of Education on Monday announced that 506 school districts and accredited nonpublic schools submitted plans to offer continuous learning opportunities for students this week while their brick-and-mortar buildings are closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Continuous learning encompasses a variety of approaches used to extend learning beyond brick-and-mortar district buildings — […]

Coronavirus shutdown creates uncertainty throughout Minor League BaseballDes Moines Register: Profitability is hard to come by for most Minor League Baseball teams. Now, with each passing day without a game, teams are taking financial hits. They rely on their limited precious home dates to make as much money as possible. And with no end in sight […]

Collins Aerospace unveils temporary salary cuts, furloughs as result of travel declineCedar Rapids Gazette: Collins Aerospace announced it will institute a temporary pay cut for salaried employees and furloughs for hourly employees worldwide, following a drop in commercial and business travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Salaried workers will experience a 10% gross pay cut starting June […]

The National Alliance on Mental Illness — Iowa (NAMI Iowa) has postponed its spring fundraiser Beautiful Minds, originally scheduled for May 15. Dinner hosts participating in the event may either reschedule their dinner party to a new date or convert their party to a virtual format.  Fareway Stores announced a $200,000 donation to the Iowa Chamber of […]

Des Moines International Airport officials announced that the airport’s A Concourse has been temporarily closed, effective today. “We have made this decision in collaboration with our airline partners to ensure minimal impact on their operations,” airport spokeswoman Kayla Kovarna said in an emailed statement. “With low passenger traffic in the terminal, it is a proactive […]

2 new COVID-19 deaths, 123 new cases reported in IowaDes Moines Register: Two more people with COVID-19 in Iowa have died, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today during a news conference, bringing the statewide total to 43. Another 123 people have tested positive for the illness, Pat Garrett, a spokesman for the governor’s office, confirmed. Reynolds during […]

Tama beef plant suspends operations after workers get virusAssociated Press: A beef processing plant in one of Iowa’s coronavirus hot spots has suspended production after several workers have become infected. National Beef announced that its Iowa Premium plant in Tama will be idled until April 20. The company said numerous employees had contracted COVID-19 and others […]

The Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health has announced new virtual sessions beginning April 14 with Dr. Rosie Ward’s keynote address “Rehumanizing the Workplace — Why it matters now more than ever.” The session will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom and is free and open to all. Successive sessions will be held daily April 15-May […]

Many newly jobless Iowans don’t know where to get help, says food bank CEO Thousands of Iowans forced into unemployment by the worldwide pandemic are turning to food pantries to help feed their families. The increased demand has put unprecedented demand on agencies that supply food to needy Iowa. Many of the newly in need […]

Iowa faces medical equipment shortageCedar Rapids Gazette: State public health officials today issued an emergency order due to a shortage of personal protective equipment, allowing health care providers to stretch their supplies by using and reusing masks, gowns and other items beyond the normal use period. Gov. Kim Reynolds reassured Iowans that positive cases of coronavirus […]

Iowa sees continued shortages of protective equipment for health workersIowa Capital Dispatch: Obtaining enough medical protective equipment will continue to be a challenge for Iowa, particularly now that the federal stockpile is nearly depleted, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. Reynolds said while the state is continuing to receive protective gear like masks and gowns, the […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe city of Ankeny is requesting that the public donate homemade masks for essential public workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The city is calling for donated masks to protect employees including public works, utilities, park maintenance and office staff. Fire/EMS and police staff will continue to wear appropriate PPE when coming in […]

Deere plans to make 225,000 face shields for health care workers fighting COVID-19Des Moines Register: Deere & Co. said today that it plans to make 225,000 protective face shields to help meet the needs of health care workers battling the coronavirus outbreak across the country. The farm and construction equipment manufacturer said the first 25,000 face […]

Alliant Energy has made a $2 million donation to its Hometown Care Energy Fund, which assists Alliant customers in Iowa and Wisconsin who need financial help to pay their energy bill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hometown Care Energy Fund is supported annually with funds from Alliant Energy shareowners, as well as voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and […]

Public Health and GovernmentGov. Kim Reynolds declared today a “Day of Prayer” in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Reynolds announced the proclamation on Wednesday; today is the first day of Jewish Passover and is Christian Maundy Thursday, which precedes Easter. The Iowa Prayer Breakfast will be offered for free online this year.  BusinessThe Iowa Association of Business and […]

Ernst urges patience as kinks in small-business aid are worked outCorridor Business Journal: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst called for patience as small businesses await dispersal of nearly $350 billion in emergency relief, cautioning that working through kinks in the new federal Payroll Protection Program might take some time, and promising that additional help is on the […]

Iowa paid out more than $27.5 million in unemployment benefits last week A record 67,334 Iowans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, 15% higher than the number of first-time claims filed the previous week, according to newly released data from Iowa Workforce Development. In addition, another 92,962 Iowans continued to collect unemployment during the […]

Zoom Video Communications Inc. was slapped with a class-action suit by one of its shareholders on Tuesday, Business Insurance reported. The lawsuit accuses the videoconferencing app of overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted. Shareholder Michael Drieu claimed in a court filing that a string of recent media reports […]

UnitedHealth Group will accelerate nearly $2 billion in payments and financial support to U.S. hospitals and health care providers to help address the significant financial pressure many are facing due to COVID-19, Becker’s Hospital Review reported. The reduction and elimination of elective procedures in preparation for COVID-19 surges has resulted in massive decreases in private payments to hospitals. […]

Des Moines Public Schools will finish the academic year with online classesDes Moines Register: Des Moines Public Schools announced today that the district will finish the academic year with online classes. After closing its facilities on March 13, the district has decided not to return to in-person classes. Superintendent Thomas Ahart said in a statement that […]

Influential model lowers coronavirus death estimates in Iowa, nationallyCedar Rapids Gazette: A leading forecasting model used by the White House to chart the novel coronavirus pandemic predicted this week that the United States may need fewer hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment than previously projected. On April 2, the model used by the University of Washington’s […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe Iowa National Guard is providing facilities and personnel to support six Regional Medical Coordination Centers across the state as a part of an Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Health Care Coalition initiative to aid in sharing critical information across multiple agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soldiers and airmen will help staff […]

More than 20% of Iowa’s coronavirus cases are health care workersDes Moines Register: More than 20% of Iowa’s positive COVID-19 diagnoses are from health care workers, the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health said today. The revelation comes as Iowa’s number of positive tests passed 1,000 and another Iowan died from the disease, […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe city of Ankeny is extending closures and cancellations of public facilities after the latest recommendations released by Gov. Kim Reynolds during the COVID-19 pandemic. A full list of facility updates is available online. BusinessKemin launches $1 million bonus program for essential employeesKemin Industries Inc. announced today it has launched a $1 million bonus program to express its […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe Iowa Utilities Board’s Lifeline program is available to qualified low-income Iowans who need basic telephone service and broadband internet access service, the IUB announced this week. Lifeline provides applicants limited monthly financial assistance to help defray the costs; due to COVID-19, the program is pausing recertification dates through May 18. More information is available […]

Tyson shuts Columbus Junction pork plant after dozens of coronavirus cases reportedCedar Rapids Gazette: Tyson Foods said Monday it had suspended operations at its Columbus Junction pork plant after more than two dozen cases of COVID-19 were reported among employees at that facility. “In an effort to minimize the impact on our overall production, we’re diverting […]

Public Health and GovernmentDes Moines Area Regional Transit will further reduce its weekday bus service due to COVID-19, effective April 12. Most DART local routes will operate on the Saturday service schedule on weekdays as part of the additional, temporary service reduction. There are no changes to Saturday and Sunday service at this time. To protect the health […]

Reynolds orders more businesses closed to fight spread of coronavirus in IowaDes Moines Register: Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered more businesses closed through April 30 to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including malls, bowling alleys, zoos, campgrounds, playgrounds and libraries, among others. Anyone not following the guidelines, specifically those not limiting social gatherings to […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe city of Clive has issued an emergency proclamation to extend the closure of city park playgrounds, shelters, restrooms and city facilities through April. The proclamation also allows the city to amend its timeline as response to COVID-19 continues. More information is available online. The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday obligated more than $44 million […]

Deep concern for some Iowa hospitals’ viability after COVID-19 crisis IowaWatch: Some Iowa hospitals ramping up their efforts to treat COVID-19 victims will not survive the pandemic without an infusion of cash, the head of the professional association for those hospitals said. Moreover, a rural-urban split that puts rural hospitals at a disadvantage when attracting […]

Several local businesses are partnering to launch Iowa Together, a new initiative seeking donations to purchase gift cards from local businesses and match them with struggling families. Iowa Together aims to raise $10,000 for businesses and families, said Nicole Torstenson of JubilCube. Businesses interested in contributing to the initiative can learn more online.  The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic […]

Public Health and GovernmentWaukee’s parks and trails are open to the public, but playground equipment and other recreational facilities are closed. The Trailside Dog Park and tennis, pickleball and basketball courts will remain open, but contact play is prohibited. More information is available online.  Arts and CultureThe Des Moines Symphony is launching DMSO at Home, a new series of […]

Two more Iowa coronavirus deaths confirmed, both in Linn CountyCedar Rapids Gazette: Two more deaths related to the novel coronavirus in Iowa were confirmed Thursday by state public health officials. The new deaths were both in Linn County, and were older patients, between the ages of 61 and 80. That brings the total coronavirus-related deaths in […]

Over the past several weeks, organizations of all sizes have dealt with unparalleled changes (and journalists have reached for their thesaurus to find new synonyms for “unprecedented”).  Standing in the breach of the turmoil are the chief people officers who are helping to steer their organizations through uncharted waters.  Four human resources experts that we gathered […]

Public Health and GovernmentUrbandale’s parks and trails are open to the public, but playground equipment and other recreational facilities are closed, the city government announced this week. Tennis, pickleball and basketball courts will remain open, but contact play is prohibited. More information is available online.  BusinessThe Iowa Restaurant Association has created an industry relief fund to assist hospitality workers […]

Applications open Friday for federal coronavirus-relief loansDes Moines Register: Most business owners can begin applying for forgivable, federally backed coronavirus-relief loans on Friday. Iowa Small Business Administration District Director Jayne Armstrong said the agency and the U.S. Department of Treasury finished writing the rules for the new program this week, which will allow business owners to begin […]

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced late Wednesday that it will retroactively waive members’ cost-share related to the treatment of COVID-19 — including copays, coinsurance and deductibles — when seeking care from an in-network provider, effective Feb. 4 through at least June 16. This is in addition to Wellmark’s previous announcement on March 20 in which it eliminated […]

Iowa JBS workers say they’re packed in too tight to stay safe from coronavirusDes Moines Register: A Latino advocacy group is questioning whether meatpacking giant JBS is doing enough to protect the 2,700 workers at its Marshalltown pork processing plant, saying employees are crowded on the company’s production floor, in locker rooms and in other parts […]

Public Health and GovernmentGov. Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the state public health emergency declaration, allowing bars and restaurants to provide carryout or delivery of alcoholic beverages until April 7. It also authorizes the sale of mixed drinks and cocktails for carryout or delivery, the governor’s office said in a statement. More than 120 […]

Can states force insurers to cover losses from pandemic-related business closure? Legislators in at least three states — New Jersey, Ohio and Massachusetts — have proposed bills to require that insurers pay out for certain claims related to COVID-19, Bloomberg reported. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association is pushing back, arguing that the costs aren’t covered under […]

Pandemic fallout begins to hit Iowa newsroomsCorridor Business Journal: Lee Enterprises, the parent company of 10 Iowa newspapers, will furlough employees or reduce compensation as it struggles to cut costs in response to a COVID-19-related drop in advertising revenue. The company told employees Tuesday they had a choice between a two-week furlough or an equivalent 4% […]

Grassley says meatpackers may be using pandemic to gouge farmersDes Moines Register: Calling for a federal investigation, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley today questioned whether giant meatpacking companies are using the public health pandemic to gouge U.S. cattle producers, with prices falling 3.5% over the past three weeks. “During this period of time, through no fault of […]

Public Health and GovernmentWebinar: Understanding State and Federal Assistance Programs for NonprofitsIowa nonprofit organizations can learn more about federal and state COVID-19 financial assistance and relief programs during a live webinar on Friday. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and the Iowa Council of Foundations are hosting the free one-hour webinar via Zoom at […]

The Iowa Department of Education today released a host of optional resources for families and educators to use as they support student learning during school closures due to COVID-19. The resources are available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website and include interactive games, virtual field trips, coding activities and e-books. The Iowa Department of Education partnered […]

Nursing home infections spread while state inspectors lack PPEIowa Capital Dispatch: The COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread in Iowa nursing homes Monday, as state inspectors relied on the facilities themselves to provide them with personal protective equipment. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday that an outbreak of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a Cedar Rapids nursing home. […]

The cities of Clive, West Des Moines and Johnston are closing playground equipment and other recreational facilities until further notice, but parks and trails remain open. Courts including tennis, pickleball and basketball remain open to the public, but team sports and contact play are prohibited. Updates are available online for Clive, West Des Moines and Johnston.  Food Bank of Iowa is partnering with faith-based […]

The Principal Charity Classic, presented by Wells Fargo, today announced the tournament has been rescheduled to Sept. 1-6 at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. “The health and well-being of our participants and the community were top of mind as we established this new date,” tournament manager Park Murphy said in a statement. All tickets, volunteer registrations and sponsorships […]

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it had issued an Emergency Use Authorization that allows for the emergency use by hospitals to modify anesthesia gas machines and other positive pressure breathing devices to use as ventilators. I emailed representatives of the Polk  County Health Department, Broadlawns Medical Center, UnityPoint Health and MercyOne […]

Two more Iowans dead from coronavirusCedar Rapids Gazette: At least six Iowans have died from the coronavirus epidemic, including two elderly people Sunday night in Linn and Washington counties, state Department of Public Health officials report today. The health agency also has been notified of 88 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total […]

BusinessThe Iowa Insurance Division is alerting investors to be on guard against an anticipated surge of fraudulent investment schemes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, investors should be wary of investments specifically tied to the threat of COVID-19. Bad actors can be expected to develop schemes that falsely purport to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks […]

By Rachel Vogel Quinn | dsm Magazine When flooding hit Des Moines in July 2018, nonprofit and government leaders realized they could have been more prepared. More than 40 organizations came together, with help from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, to create a Disaster Recovery Fund (DRF). At the time, they had no idea they’d need […]

MercyOne Des Moines Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund. All donations will be restricted to delivering relief during the pandemic. One hundred percent of funds donated will be used to aid MercyOne medical professionals through efforts such as providing essential medical supplies and acquiring needed equipment; resiliency and mental health resources for physicians, nurses and […]

Public Health and GovernmentIowa Workforce Development has updated its leave policy for those filing unemployment insurance benefits following the enactment of the CARES Act. Effective immediately, employees who are or will be laid off or are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19 will no longer be required to use all paid leave before being […]

Iowa could reach coronavirus peak in 2-3 weeksCedar Rapids Gazette: The spread of novel coronavirus is on a trajectory to peak in Iowa during the next two to three weeks, a state public health official said Sunday. However, the official, Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, cautioned that projection could change […]

House passes historic $2 trillion stimulus despite objections from GOP lawmakerCNN: The House of Representatives today approved the historic $2 trillion stimulus package that passed the Senate earlier this week, overcoming last-minute drama by using an unusual procedural move to thwart a demand by a conservative Republican to force members to vote in person. The bill […]

The National Federation of Independent Business will host a webinar on Monday at 11 a.m. Central time. The webinar will walk business owners and employers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus bill, which will provide small business grants, forgivable loans and tax relief.  All business owners who anticipate a need for […]

Marshalltown’s Lennox shuts down for cleaning after report of COVID-19Marshalltown Times-Republican: The Lennox plant in Marshalltown halted production Thursday after learning an employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to Lennox employees. The plant is on an emergency shutdown of all shifts with hopes of resuming production on Sunday. Several Lennox employees said they were sent home […]

BusinessOutlets of Des Moines is temporarily closed until April 7 after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an expanded disaster proclamation for Iowa. The outlet mall will reopen as soon as state restrictions are lifted, the company said.  A Kemin Industries employee in Des Moines has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Kemin announced. The employee has self-isolated at home […]

Hy-Vee has received more than 25,000 applications for temporary, part-time positions at 86 of the grocery chain’s stores and distribution centers. “We have never received that many in that short of time,” Tina Potthoff, Hy-Vee’s senior vice president of communications, told the Business Record. The West Des Moines-based grocery chain announced it was hiring temporary […]

Effective immediately, children do not have to be present when caregivers pick up meals at Iowa’s 303 approved Grab & Go meal sites, the Iowa Department of Education announced today. The department has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides flexibility for schools and organizations distributing meals through the Summer Food Service Program […]

Wall Street rallies for third day as investors focus on stimulusReuters: Wall Street rallied for a third straight session today as record weekly jobless claims came in below investors’ worst fears and investors focused on an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus awaiting approval by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1,351 […]

Arts and CultureWinefest is canceling all April event dates but plans to reschedule those events and proceed as planned during the May 26-June 6 festival, the organization announced this week. The organization is offering new Virtual Wine Flights in partnership with local restaurants through Facebook Live, beginning March 27. More information on upcoming events is available online.  […]

As working from home stretches toward the end of a second workweek for many Iowans, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has released some helpful tips for balancing workplace and home. The tips include setting boundaries, establishing routines and enjoying the advantages, writes David Brown, behavioral health specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. The Extension office also […]

Sixty-two percent of Des Moines metro organizations say they’ve been required to making operational changes in the wake of COVID-19’s spread to Iowa, survey results released by the Greater Des Moines Partnership show. The Partnership received more than 600 responses from area organizations. When asked about biggest concerns around COVID-19, 89% said concern on the […]

Nearly 42,000 Iowans filed for initial unemployment benefits Nearly 42,000 Iowans last week filed for initial unemployment benefits, one-third of which were from the restaurant, bar and lodging industries, according to newly released data from Iowa Workforce Development. Jessica Dunker, Iowa Restaurant Association president and CEO, expects the unemployment claims to be even higher next […]

BusinessThe American Transportation Research Institute and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association Foundation are conducting a joint research study to understand the numerous effects that the coronavirus pandemic is having on trucking operations. The research focuses heavily on a survey that solicits critical input from truck drivers and motor carrier staff who are encountering Covid-19 impacts such […]

Des Moines hotels see visitors, profits plunge during coronavirus outbreakDes Moines Register: Profits for Des Moines-area hotels cratered last week as they lost more than half their usual customer base and about a third of their revenue, according to data released Wednesday. The occupancy rate for the metro was 23%, down from 56% around the same […]

4 employees at long-term care facilities, 1 resident test positive for coronavirus in IowaDes Moines Register: Five people at four long-term care facilities in Iowa have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a health care group. Four of the cases involve employees and one case involves a resident at one of these facilities. The facilities are located […]

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller joined with more than 30 other attorneys general to urge Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Walmart and Craigslist to more rigorously monitor price-gouging practices by online sellers using their services. The action is among several that Miller is taking to address price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a disaster […]

President Donald Trump has approved Gov. Kim Reynolds’ request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the COVID-19 outbreak in Iowa, removing a $5 million cap on federal funds and making the Community Disaster Loan Program available, the governor’s office announced today. A request by Reynolds to activate the federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Crisis Counseling […]

Donations now centralized through Polk County Emergency Management Greater Des Moines companies continue to demonstrate their generosity with donations of personal protective equipment for Central Iowa health workers.  To make the donation process more efficient, Polk County Emergency Management, working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is now serving as the central point of contact […]

Labor Department releases fact sheets for Families First Coronavirus Response Act  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on Tuesday announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First […]

Dow records biggest point gain ever CNN Business: U.S. stocks ended sharply higher today, recouping all of Monday’s losses as investors grew optimistic about the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. The Dow recorded its biggest point gain on record. The index closed up 11.4%, or 2,113 points. The S&P 500 closed up 9.4%, its best day […]

UnityPoint Clinic announced today it will open an Adult Respiratory Illness Clinic designed to provide an option for adult patients who are sick with suspected COVID-19 or other acute respiratory illnesses. Patients must call 515-323-5680 or reserve their spot online at unitypoint.org before going to the clinic to be screened for symptoms — including fever, cough and/or […]

Balance Autism announced today that it will suspend its community supported agriculture program this year. “Social distancing and quarantine will not allow for our individuals to work together in the greenhouse in preparation for our planting season,” the nonprofit’s CEO, Steve Muller, said in an email. “One of the temporary accommodations we’ve needed to make is […]

Big Green Umbrella Media Inc., the Johnston-based publisher of Cityview and Iowa Living magazines, announced today that those publications will “go dark” and suspend publishing for the next six weeks. In a message addressed to readers and advertisers, Big Green Umbrella President and Publisher Shane Goodman said the company currently faces “more questions than answers.”  […]

More than three-quarters of U.S. small businesses surveyed say they are now experiencing a negative impact from the coronavirus pandemic, a stark contrast from survey results released just 10 days earlier.  According to survey results released Monday by the National Federation of Independent Business, 76% of small businesses polled said they are negatively affected. About 5% […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has launched the DSM Employment Ready initiative to assist businesses in need of immediate temporary workers and employees who have been affected by circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Partnership will maintain a list of Greater Des Moines companies looking to rapidly hire for open positions, as well as serve as a resource for employers and employees with up-to-date information relating to state and […]

Public Health and GovernmentDART adjusting route service hours; limiting ridership to essential trips onlyDART announced it is temporarily ending weekday service earlier on some routes and reducing how often some routes run, effective Thursday. There are no changes to Saturday and Sunday service at this time. To protect the health and safety of employees and riders, […]

Iowa State, UNI move summer 2020 courses online as coronavirus threat persistsCedar Rapids Gazette: Like the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University has announced major changes to its summer programming — including study abroad cancellations and a decision to move many of its summer courses to online only. Earlier this month, UNI administrators canceled all […]

Foundation launches $500,000 relief grant fund for health nonprofits.  Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation today announced two relief programs to offer Iowa dentists and nonprofits financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.  Delta Dental of Iowa, whose network includes 94% of Iowa’s dentists, has allocated more than $10 million for […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe IMPACT Community Action Partnership is closing all IMPACT offices to walk-in services and asking community members using the monthly food pantry services in the Drake neighborhood, Ankeny and Boone to schedule a time over the phone to pick up their items, IMPACT announced today. All applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program […]

Small businesses asked not to fire workers as government set to offer forgivable loansMarketWatch: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged small businesses not to fire any workers, saying the government will provide bridge loans that could be forgiven entirely after the coronavirus pandemic eases. “If you’re a small business, we ask that you not lay people […]

Clarification: Currently, no business continuity insurance policies provide coverage for business disruptions due to pandemics, said Greg LaMair, president and CEO of LMC Insurance & Risk Management. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that businesses could add pandemic coverage to their policies. Most Iowa companies will likely discover that their business continuity insurance […]

KCCI: Gov. Kim Reynolds announced new ways the state is assisting businesses and childcare services in combating COVID-19. Reynolds announced she signed a proclamation Sunday morning to close salons, tattoo establishments, barbershops, massage therapy businesses, tanning salons, medical spas and swimming pools effective 10 p.m. Sunday. The Iowa Department of Human Services offered new guidelines […]

By Kathie Obradovich | Iowa Capital Dispatch The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a disaster declaration for Iowa that will allow small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to qualify for low-interest support loans, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced Saturday. The disaster declaration for the state is for the period beginning Jan. 31, 2020 and […]

BusinessThe 2020 Global Insurance Symposium scheduled for April 21-23 is canceled, organizers announced this morning. The GIA will host a virtual pitch event for accepted insuretech startups April 22 from 3:30-5 p.m. CST. More information and attendee registration for the pitch event is available online. Participants in this year’s Global Insurance Accelerator cohort are now fully remote, managing director Nicole […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds today issued an additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration effective immediately that provides additional regulatory relief to Iowans affected by the coronavirus  public health disaster.  The emergency declaration, which is effective through April 16, relaxes a number of restrictions and regulations in areas ranging from property tax collections and eviction law to […]

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced late Thursday that it will temporarily reimburse health care providers that provide services through telehealth — including mental health counselors — at the same rate as office visits. The Des Moines-based health insurance company has for a number of years been reimbursing providers for telehealth behavioral services at 75% […]

Bridgestone will send 1,400 workers home from Des Moines tire plantDes Moines Register: Bridgestone is sending about 1,400 workers home from its Des Moines agricultural tire manufacturing plant for two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, beginning Sunday morning. It’s the first major Iowa production facility to shut down due to the coronavirus, which […]

Public Health and GovernmentGovernor confirms new cases; state has testing capability for 400 Thirteen Iowa counties have positively identified cases of COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at Thursday’s press conference. Tests have confirmed 44 cases in the state. The State Hygienic Lab is running three shifts to process COVID-19 cases and has identified 642 cases as negative; State […]

D.M. schools commit to paying staff during shutdown, but most Iowa districts undecidedDes Moines Register: Several school districts in the Des Moines area affirmed that teachers and support staff will continue to be paid during the four weeks that classes are suspended in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, a majority of the […]

Public Health and GovernmentGov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation expanding roles for physician assistants in Iowa by allowing them full prescriptive rights, legal protections similar to other health care professions, the ability to be reimbursed by Medicaid and other service changes. The full bill is available online. Reynolds is scheduled to hold a news conference today at 3 […]

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Iowa office is asking small businesses in the state that are facing economic losses from the COVID-19 pandemic to submit information to their County Emergency Management offices in order to declare counties eligible for disaster loans.  “We’re waiting on Iowa to be designated as eligible for small businesses in the […]

Remainder of Des Moines Buccaneers’ U.S. Hockey League season canceledDes Moines Register: Six days after suspending its season indefinitely because of the national coronavirus outbreak, the United States Hockey League has closed the doors on its 2019-20 campaign for good. The 16-team league, which includes five Iowa teams (Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Sioux City, Waterloo and the […]

By Karla Walsh | dsm Magazine contributor Under a public health emergency declaration issued this morning, all Iowa restaurants and bars were ordered to suspend on-premise service. Carry-out and delivery are allowed. Of course, most of these businesses were already responding aggressively to protect their patrons, with new carry-out and delivery services. As a huge cheerleader […]

Wall Street slumps, government bonds hammered as stimulus high fadesReuters: Wall Street resumed a steep slide today while bond markets rushed to price in the sheer scale of government support programs and handouts announced over the past 24 hours, all aimed at softening the economic shock of coronavirus. Dire trading conditions continued to make two-way trading […]

Public Health and Government The Iowa Department of Public Health has identified six additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 29 positive cases, the IDPH announced late Tuesday. Three of the individuals are residents of Johnson County; the other three are residents of Adair, Blackhawk and Dallas counties.  The Story County treasurer’s office will close […]

Managers of some Central Iowa apartment buildings are sharing ideas on how best to operate during the coronavirus outbreak while serving tenants, keeping workers safe and leasing units, said Chris Costa, president and CEO of Knapp properties. “We’re trying to talk through best practices and challenges that we’re running into,” said Costa (pictured). “There’s been […]

Public Health and GovernmentCorteva worker in Johnston confirmed positive for COVID-19An employee at Corteva Agriscience’s Johnston campus tested positive for COVID-19 this week, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported. Many employees were told to work at home beginning this week. “We can confirm that an employee at our Johnston office has tested positive for COVID-19,” said company spokesman […]

U.S. postpones April 15 tax payments for 90 days for most AmericansWall Street Journal: The U.S. government will postpone the April 15 tax payment deadline for millions of individuals, giving Americans another 90 days to pay their 2019 income tax bills in an unprecedented move. The IRS, using authority under President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, […]

Iowa Workforce Development, responding to an anticipated surge in unemployed Iowans because of temporary business closures due to the coronavirus, has loosened its guidelines for qualifying for unemployment benefits. In addition, the state is waiving unemployment insurance fees that are charged to businesses when workers file unemployment claims. The charge is being waived only in […]

Iowa lawmakers grant Reynolds expanded power as they suspend legislative sessionDes Moines Register: The Iowa Legislature has suspended its session for 30 days after passing legislation early Tuesday morning to keep the government running and grant Gov. Kim Reynolds expanded powers to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Top Republicans in the House and Senate […]

Public Health and Government Des Moines Water Works is operating under a four-phase Contagious Disease Response Plan, closing the general office building to walk-in customers, suspending in-home customer services visits except for emergencies and suspending service termination for delinquent accounts, the organization announced Monday afternoon. The organization is stockpiling chemicals, repair parts and other supplies to […]

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, in an unprecedented move, issued a state of public health disaster emergency declaration today mandating the closure of the state’s bars, restaurants, fitness centers, theaters, gaming facilities, senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities. The mandate is effective at noon today and continues through March 31. The move comes after the […]

Public Health and GovernmentGov. Kim Reynoldsannounced new assistance released by Iowa Workforce Development for employees and employers affected by related layoffs, including guidance for employees filing for unemployment insurance claims. Individuals laid off due to COVID-19 can receive unemployment benefits if they meet all other eligibility requests. Claims filed and identified as a result of COVID-19 will […]

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines today announced it has activated a new Disaster Recovery Fund that will be used to support communities that are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 emergency.  The DRF was created in partnership with disaster response and philanthropic organizations in Greater Des Moines to develop a collective strategy for charitable […]

Public Health and GovernmentGov. Kim Reynolds recommended Iowa schools close for four weeks after the Iowa Department of Public Health announced on Sunday four additional positive cases of Iowans diagnosed with COVID-19, including one positive case identified in Polk County. Iowa has a total of 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two cases of confirmed community […]

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE: DES MOINES – Upon discovery of the existence of substantial community spread of COVID-19 in the state, Gov. Reynolds is recommending that Iowa schools close for four weeks.  “Based on new information today from the Iowa Department of Public Health, now is the time to move to the next […]

New coronavirus case in Dallas county; patient sickened without recent travel, meaning it was ‘community spread’ Des Moines Register: There is “community spread” of the coronavirus in Iowa for the first time, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Saturday night, a new designation that means the virus is spreading in the state from an unknown source. Reynolds […]

Public Health and Government Food Bank of Iowa will continue normal operations and continue monitoring developments related to COVID-19, the organization announced Friday afternoon. Food Bank of Iowa is working with Des Moines Public Schools to fill needs as students are out of classes during the district’s extended closure. A statement and updates are available […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership released information late Friday afternoon on its response to the coronavirus emergency, including an updated list of events that will be either moved online, postponed or canceled. Among the largest events that will be canceled this month is the Des Moines Book Festival, which was scheduled March 28.  “While we’re […]

Friday, March 13, 2020 4:46 PMThe 17 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus do not display signs of community spread, but Iowans should be prepared for an expected rise in confirmed cases, Gov. Kim Reynolds said late Friday afternoon during her news conference. State agencies are ceasing nonessential travel for state employees and asking employees who travel […]

A majority of U.S. small businesses say they are not currently affected by the coronavirus outbreak, according to survey results released today by the National Federation of Independent Business. Based on a random survey of its membership database of about 300,000 small business owners, 74% said they are not currently experiencing an impact, while 23% said they […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe office of Gov. Kim Reynolds has scheduled a news conference on COVID-19 to take place at 4:30 p.m. today from the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston. The conference will be streamed live on Facebook. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie today released a statement advising Des Moines businesses, churches, event planners and organizations to […]

Coronavirus forces Warren Buffett to cancel ‘Woodstock for Capitalists’Reuters: Warren Buffett today said the coronavirus pandemic forced him to cancel Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual shareholder weekend, the largest gathering in corporate America, because the safety of participants and the wider community was paramount. The weekend, which Berkshire’s billionaire chairman calls “Woodstock for Capitalists” and which normally […]

Public Health and GovernmentThe Iowa Department of Public Health released guidance directed at school administrators overseeing grades preK-12 on Thursday. If a child or staff member in a district is identified with COVID-19, local health officials will determine when students and staff should return to schools and what additional steps are needed for the community, the IDPH […]

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that it will provide small businesses affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus up to $2 million nationally in disaster assistance loans; however, businesses in Iowa will not be able to apply for disaster loans until Gov. Kim Reynolds applies for and receives an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration from the SBA, […]

World stocks plunge into bear market on U.S. travel curbs, ECB moveReuters: Panic hit world financial markets today, after stimulus efforts from the European Central Bank failed to calm investors alarmed by U.S. moves to restrict travel from Europe over the coronavirus pandemic. Global stocks plunged below bear market thresholds, with European shares taking their largest […]

Thursday, March 12, 2020 11:52 AMThe Iowa Health Care Association is encouraging all skilled nursing facilities in the state to follow recent guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requiring them to substantially limit nonessential visitors to their facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. “Our top priority is to protect the health and well-being of […]

The Technology Association of Iowa is postponing the annual Prometheus Awards. The award ceremony is now scheduled for June 23. Refund requests will be accepted until May 21. Ticket holders with questions may contact TAI at 515-280-7701.  Performances and classes at the Des Moines Community Playhouse are taking place as scheduled, the organization announced today.  […]

Des Moines Area Community College announces in-person classes are canceled after spring break until further notice; online-only classes to resume as scheduled on March 23. More information and ongoing updates at www.dmacc.edu/coronavirus Mercy College of Health Sciences announces plans to move all campus classes online after spring break until further notice; online classes to begin […]