Public Health and Government
The 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 the RMCCs to gather real-time health care facility status updates and help providers make decisions around resources such as open hospital beds, available staffing, personal protective health care equipment and other critical health care assets. Centers are located at Iowa National Guard armories in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Camp Dodge, Mason City, Council Bluffs and Sioux City.

Veridian Credit Union
 is encouraging members who are financially affected by the spread of COVID-19 to reach out. The credit union is processing payment deferrals, fee waivers and more for members experiencing a loss of income as a result of the pandemic. Affected members may go online to request a review of their options. Updates on Veridian’s response to the pandemic are also available online.

Health care
UI research: MERS vaccine in mice may hold promise for COVID-19 vaccine
Researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia have developed a vaccine that fully protects mice against a lethal dose of MERS, a close cousin of the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine uses a harmless virus to deliver a MERS coronavirus protein into cells to generate an immune response, and may hold promise for developing vaccines against other coronaviruses diseases, including COVID-19, the universities said in a release. The study found that just one relatively low dose of the vaccine given to the mice intranasally (inhaled through the nose) was sufficient to fully protect all the treated mice from a lethal dose of MERS coronavirus.

Central Bank & Insurance
 donated $5,000 to support West Des Moines Community Schools’ Grab-and-Go meal program, which offers meal packages for food-insecure families of WDMCS students, the district announced today. WDMCS Nutrition Services is currently serving and delivering almost 7,000 meals to community children each week, the district said. More information on the program is available online.