Help for Iowans
- Financial counseling through ISU Extension and Outreach: extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/finance
- Federal payments to individuals: The IRS is issuing relief payments to Americans. Complete details: irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
- Unemployment: iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/COVID-19
- Legal Aid: Resource page on legal issues Iowans may face during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Worker rights
- Iowa AFL-CIO: https://aflcio.org/covid-19
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: EEO laws amid COVID-19
- National Partnership for Women and Families: Emergency Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave for Child Care and Coronavirus
- University of Iowa Labor Center: Iowa Workers Rights During COVID-19
- National Council on Occupational Safety and Health: Coronavirus page includes free webinar recordings, toolkits and fact sheets for particular occupations.
- National Employment Law Project:
- Small businesses
- Iowa Business Recovery Assistance
- U.S. Small Business Administration Guidance and Loan Resources
- First quarter unemployment tax payments due April 30 may be delayed until the end of the 2nd quarter (July 31) for employers with 50 or fewer employees. Employers still must file their quarterly wage reports. Contact Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Tax division at 1-888-848-7442 or Q1tax@iwd.iowa.gov.
- COVID-19 Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund: The program offers grants up to $10,000 to single-owner businesses with no employees that are also TSB certified, or have an application submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority by April 10, 2020 to become TSB certified.
- Rural resources
- Federal rural resource guide: The USDA resource guide of federal programs will help rural residents, businesses and communities find technical, training and management assistance, financial assistance, partnership opportunities and more. Additional help: usda.gov/coronavirus
- Expert assistance for local governments: U.S. Digital Response is a volunteer-run, non-partisan effort offering free help to federal, state and local governments. Thousands of qualified volunteers can assist with technology, data, design, operations, communications, project management and more during the COVID-19 crisis. Request help at usdigitalresponse.org/governments. Volunteer to help at usdigitalresponse.org/volunteers.
- Look for SBA loan and grant opportunities for nonprofits under the federal CARES Act. The federal Paycheck Protection programs and Economic Injury Disaster Loans are open to nonprofits. Summary from Nonprofit Quarterly.
- U of I Nonprofit Resource Center: COVID-19 resources
- National Council of Nonprofits coronavirus response and recovery resources.
- The Independent Sector offers tips on applying for nonprofit relief under the federal CARES Act.
- Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation is offering operating grants of up to $10,000 to Iowa nonprofits focused on providing health and wellness services during this crisis, or addressing food insecurity needs.
- ICUF Emergency Relief Fund provides assistance to credit union members experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic with one-time $500 grants.
- Creative sector
- Iowa Culture
- State funding and relief resources can be found at iowaculture.gov/covid-19.
- Video on Resources Related to Covid-19 for Iowa’s Arts, Culture and Creative Industries
- Americans for the Arts
- The coronavirus outbreak has so far cost 239 Iowa arts and cultural organizations more than $6.3 million, with a median financial impact of $12,750 per organization. 95 percent have had to cancel events.
- The organization has set up a coronavirus response center with news for artists and organizations, webinars, information and digital resources, as well as a long list of funding opportunities. They’re also conducting surveys of Artists and Creative Workers and of Arts and Cultural Organizations to collect stories and data on the coronavirus impact and response in the arts community.
- Iowa Culture
- Student learning and activities
- Stress and well-being
- Iowa Department on Aging: “Social Connectedness for the Homebound” addresses social isolation among older during the pandemic.
- Iowa Concern Helpline: Iowa State University Extension provides confidential access to stress counselors and other resources, 24/7 at no charge. Call 800-447-1985, or go to extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/ to live chat one-on-one in a secure environment.
- Multi-lingual assistance
- Interpreters in high-demand languages are available 8:30 am-5:00 pm with a 24-hour voicemail at 1-877-558-2609.
- Iowa PBS offers Spanish-language safety information amidst COVID-19 pandemic
- Food assistance
- Department of Human Services: Apply for food assistance and learn more about other COVID-19 resources through DHS.
- Department of Public Health: Learn about the WIC program, a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or sign-up here.
- Department of Education: Iowa’s approved Grab and Go meal sites are providing USDA Child Nutrition Summer Food Program (SFSP) meals to children 18 and under. Find a summer meal site near you; call 211 or 1-866-3-HUNGRY; or text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877.
- Department on Aging: The Area Agencies on Aging provide home delivered or drive-through meals, and emergency nutrition services for any Iowan age 60 and above regardless of income on a voluntary contribution basis. Find your local Agency on Aging or call the LifeLong Links hotline at 866-468-7887.
- Local Food Bank Information: Find your local food bank service area information here.
- Child care
- CARES Act support for child care providers: COVID-19 Childcare Sustainability Plan and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
- Find available child care openings through this interactive Iowa map.
- Child Care Resource & Referral assists families in selecting child care providers who best meet their needs. Call 1-855-244-5301 or visit www.iowaccrr.org.
- COVID-19 volunteer opportunities.
- Guidelines for volunteers and organizations during COVID-19 outbreak.
- Sew masks for health care workers with these instructions and pattern.
Iowa needs more donors! All healthy individuals are encouraged to donate blood. Find a donation location:
- LifeServe Blood Center
- Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
- University of Iowa’s DeGowin Blood Bank
- Red Cross
Prepare to vote absentee
For the June 2 primary, the Iowa Secretary of State has sent absentee ballot requests to all active registered voter in Iowa. The forms will be postage paid for return mailing to County Auditors. Complete the absentee ballot request form and return the original, signed form to your county auditor. You will then receive you postage-paid absentee ballot in the mail.
On March 24, Iowa received approval for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19, removing a cap on available federal funds and making our state eligible for the Community Disaster Loan program.
- FEMA Coronavirus Emergency Management Best Practices: Best practices and lessons learned across all levels of government, private sector, academic institutions, professional associations, and other organizations.
- HHS Novel Coronavirus Resources: Technical resources and information for the medical community and emergency responders.
- Up-To-Date Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website – www.coronavirus.gov.
- Disaster Response and Recovery Primer: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Response and Recovery Through Federal-State-Local-Tribal Partnership. FEMA’s public assistance guidance for COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.
- Coronavirus Fact vs. Myth: FEMA set up a website to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Social Media Resources:
- Fraud & Scam Protection:
- Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources:
- Catalog of all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus: usa.gov/coronavirus
- Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law March 27, builds on the two former pieces of federal legislation by providing more support to individuals and businesses. Tax Foundation synopsis of the $3.2 billion relief plan: taxfoundation.org/federal-coronavirus-relief-bill-cares-act/
Federal impact on states
The National Conference of State Legislature’s is tracking the impact federal agency announcements related to COVID-19 that may impact states.
- Dedicated website: coronavirus.iowa.gov
- Public hotline for Iowans with questions about COVID-19 is available 24/7. Call 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health is the lead agency addressing the coronavirus outbreak. Key IDPH resources on Novel Coronavirus.
- Local public health agencies: idph.iowa.gov/lphs/local-public-health-agencies
The Legislature voted to suspend session March 16 to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Before adjourning, we passed SF 2408, authorizing expanded emergency powers for the Governor to address the situation as it unfolds. Additional state resources, supplies, equipment and materials have been authorized to cope with the fallout from this public health disaster. Read a summary of what is included in this legislation at wp.me/p8aBRy-7qk.
The Governor has issued several declarations of state Public Health Disaster Emergency: March 17, March 22, March 26, March 31, April 2, April 6, April 10, April 16, April 24, April 27, May 6, May 13. These include updates on public restrictions, orders for state agencies, flexibility for health care and transportation, and more.
Key state agency updates
Links to state departments and state agencies, their websites and social media can be found at directory.iowa.gov/social.
- Legislative Services Agency: informational updates and analyses on a variety of COVID-19-related topics – legis.iowa.gov/publications/information/covid19Resources
- Department of Human Services: dhs.iowa.gov/COVID19
- Department of Transportation: iowadot.gov/covid-19/Public-Response
- Contact info for county-operated facilities: iowadot.gov/mvd.
- Department of Education: educateiowa.gov/article/2020/05/11/covid-19-guidance-and-information
- Iowa Attorney General: iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-businesses/covid-coronavirus-health-legal-resources
- Department of Corrections: doc.iowa.gov/COVID19
- Iowa Public Employment Retirement Systems: ipers.org/covid-19
- Iowa Utilities Board: iub.iowa.gov/press-releases
- Department of Natural Resources: iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/Covid-19
- Iowa National Guard: Latest ING news
- Iowa Courts: iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/covid-19-information-and-updates/
- Department of Inspections and Appeals: dia.iowa.gov/about/novel-coronavirus-covid-19