Hite’s COVID-19 Update: 3/26/20

by Dustin Hite

Another week of social distancing has passed, and more policy has been enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state and country. While the Legislature was not in session this week, we are continuing to work by answering emails from constituents, fielding phone calls from local officials, and keeping you all updated on what actions the state is taking to keep our families and communities safe and healthy.

Since the Legislature suspended its session, the Governor has exercised her emergency powers in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa. These orders include the closing of businesses where people tend to congregate, such as bars and restaurants, entertainment venues, and salons and barbershops, among others. Many state departments have also taken action to help Iowans such as pushing back tax deadlines, extending unemployment benefits to workers impacted by COVID-19, and providing childcare resources for parents working in essential industries.

Additionally, the Governor has enacted policy to help those struggling to afford rent due to COVID-19. Through emergency orders, she has temporarily suspended evictions for renters and foreclosures of residential, commercial, and agricultural real estate property. Individuals must continue to pay rent, mortgages, and leases, but they are protected from losing their homes while the proclamation is in place. For renters, a tenant who does not pay rent is still subject to penalties listed in their lease agreements, and landlords can still add late charges and other financial penalties.

While the Governor has not ordered a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order, Iowans are encouraged to remain home as much as possible. This and other common-sense practices like washing your hands, covering your sneezes and coughs, etc., will significantly help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Iowans may still go outside to run or walk, but it is important to continue to distance or only come close to those you share a home with.

The Governor is holding regular press conferences to keep the public informed on the state’s response. These press conferences are held at 2:30 pm, Sunday-Friday. Many TV news stations broadcast the press conference live, and they are also available on the Governor’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/IAGovernor.

This is a difficult time for many small businesses, so let’s all do our part to show them our support. While restaurants are prohibited from dine-in customers, several are offering curbside and to-go orders. Other small businesses, like salons and retail stores, are selling gift cards and certificates that can be used once the Governor’s order is lifted. If possible, I encourage you to consider ordering take-out from one of the wonderful restaurants in our community (many of whom are offering to-go menus for the time being) or shopping online at a local business’s website. As Iowans, we know how important it is to take care of our own. Let’s make sure we are supporting those who have supported us in the past!

Posted by on Mar 26 2020. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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