CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for April 20: Iowa City Pride cancels 2020 parade, festival

Healthcare workers prepare for an appointment to take a sample from a person for Covid-19 testing at the Louisa County C
Healthcare workers prepare for an appointment to take a sample from a person for Covid-19 testing at the Louisa County Clinic in Columbus City, Iowa, on Thursday, April 16, 2020. The testing is by appointment only. Two employees have died after a coronavirus outbreak at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in nearby Columbus Junction, Iowa. The plant has been shut down since April 6. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

1:56 p.m. Iowa City Pride announces parade and festival are canceled

IOWA CITY — After weeks of monitoring and evaluating all possible situations surrounding COVID-19. Iowa City Pride announced Monday that this year’s parade and festival, scheduled for June 19-20, has been canceled.

The event will go on in 2021.

“Ultimately, the safety of all of our communities is the most important,” Iowa City Pride President Anthony Sivanthaphanith said in a release. “Pride is more than ‘June,’ it is something we can celebrate every day.”

All current sponsors and registered vendors for Pride 2020 will rollover to next year’s pride celebration automatically, unless they contact Iowa City Pride with questions.

Iowa City Pride’s full statement can be read at www.iowacitypride.org

12:56 p.m. Linn County Correctional Center Deputy test positive for COVID-19 virus

CEDAR RAPIDS — On Sunday, Linn County officials learned that a deputy sheriff assigned to the Linn County Correctional Center tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The deputy last worked during the evening shift on Thursday, April 16, according to the county. He arrived to work fever-free, as verified through a process previously put in-place requiring the temperature to be taken of all people entering the Correctional Center, but left work near the end of his shift when he became symptomatic with a 102 degree fever.

A test for the COVID-19 virus was administered and the deputy learned that the test was positive. The deputy has been advised to remain in self-isolation until he meets the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines (PDF) for returning to work.

At the time that he became symptomatic, the infected employee was assigned duty as one of the 1st floor booking or intake deputies, Linn County said in a news release this afternoon.

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The jail administration previously worked proactively with the court system to both reduce the number of inmates in-custody and limit the number of new inmates brought into the facility. This process lessened the number of inmates with whom the deputy would have had direct contact. Although enhanced cleaning activities were already being conducted in the jail on a continual basis, two more thorough sanitization procedures, to help reduce the chances of virus spread, have also occurred since the time that the deputy went home ill.

The jail administration worked cooperatively with and assisted the Linn County Public Health with their contact tracing process to identify those people with whom the deputy may have inadvertently exposed to the virus. Exposure means that a person was within six feet for more than two minutes with the deputy who has been confirmed as having the virus. Exposure does not mean that the person has contracted the virus.

Eleven exposed co-workers have been identified and notified of the exposure. As essential services personnel, they will continue to report for duty as long as they remain asymptomatic, per IDPH guidelines.

In conferring with the Linn County Public Health, it was determined that no inmates were exposed to the virus by the infected deputy.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said, “The health and safety of our employees and inmates are of paramount importance. Although we have taken numerous steps to help reduce the chances of the COVID-19 virus affecting our operations, an exposure to the virus was still a possibility. We will continue to follow the guidance and protocol of our public health professionals to help ensure that the virus does not spread throughout the facility.”

As part of that continued exposure reduction process, in addition to taking the temperature of all people entering the Correctional Center, all employees and visitors are now required to wear a face mask when in the secure area of the Correctional Center. Additionally, face masks are being provided to all inmates in the Linn County Correctional Center. While they are not required to wear them, they are being strongly encouraged to wear them.

9:16 a.m. Iowa City announces more changes to parks due to COVID-19

IOWA CITY — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa City parks and recreation department has announced the following updates regarding its facilities and programs:

— The Iowa City Farmers Market start will be delayed until at least Saturday, July 4, 2020.

— Shelter and facility rentals and permits are canceled through end of May. New reservations are not being taken.

— There will be no organized groups sports and no athletic field rentals through the start of fall sports, approximately Friday, August 15, 2020.

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— No summer recreation brochure will be available. Look for updates about new classes and events on our social media pages in early June.

— Recreation Centers, swimming pools, splash pads, skate park, park restrooms, and playgrounds remain closed until further notice.

Last week, the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area’s trail was converted to a one-way loop temporarily in order to help maintain social distancing.

3:37 p.m. Kirkwood summer ‘KICK’ camps set to launch in June

CEDAR RAPIDS — Kirkwood Interactive Camps for Kids (KICK) will return this summer with more than 80 new camp offerings for youth ages 8-15. More than 180 total camps are available and many are designed to introduce area children to STEM careers.

Camps are offered at Kirkwood’s main campus in Cedar Rapids, the Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha, and in Coralville at the Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa.

The college has also announced that if social distancing remains in place, many of the offerings are set to transition to virtual camps.

“Kirkwood is set to launch KICK in a normal face-to-face environment, but we’re prepared to make the temporary transition to virtual programming if necessary due to COVID-19,” said Program Developer Amanda Weeks. “Whatever the format, we’re excited to offer these great opportunities to learn and have fun. A good portion of our programming focuses on STEM education because much of the economy, and our general well-being, is backed by science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Some of the camps preparing to go to a virtual format this summer include Battle Royale: Make Your First ‘Fortnite’-Style Video Game, Brain Challenges, Code Creators: Game Design and Python Multiplayer Adventures, eSports Apprentice — YouTube Streamers and Gamers, Roblox: Makers-Coders-Entrepreneurs!, and Virtual Reality.

9:50 a.m. Iowa’s statewide historic preservation summit goes virtual

DES MOINES — This year’s premier statewide historic preservation conference will be presented virtually to allow all participants to gather online.

Instead of gathering among the city’s historic buildings and majestic riverside bluffs, participants in the 2020 Preserve Iowa Summit will connect online June 4-6 with a mix of live and prerecorded sessions, virtual tours and an awards ceremony to celebrate outstanding preservation projects across Iowa.

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“We’re using new tools and technology to protect and preserve the past,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “Iowans care deeply about our history and understand how historic properties enhance our communities, so we encourage Iowans across the state to tune in, broaden their knowledge and build their skills.”

The Iowa Department of Cultural of Affairs and its State Historic Preservation Office are copresenting this year’s summit with the city of Dubuque, in partnership with the Dubuque Historic Preservation Commission, Travel Dubuque, Preservation Iowa, Heritage Works, RDG Planning and Design, and the National Park Service.

10:06 a.m. Iowa City Landfill open to rural Johnson County residents today

Due to limited waste removal options in rural Johnson County, the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center will open to these residents beginning today.

Business hours will run from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. County residents may bring their recycling and bagged household trash only and will need to provide an ID. No yard waste or bulky items such as mattresses, furniture, electronics, or appliances will be accepted.

The Landfill is temporarily closed Saturdays to all customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County residents may call Johnson County Board of Supervisors at 319-356-6000 to verify they are in the database for the Johnson County Rural Cleanup Program.

Residents with curbside services or dumpsters available to them where they live should continue to use those services.

10:06 a.m. Cedar Rapids offers online ‘Crush the Curve’ marathon

The city of Cedar Rapids has a 30-Day Virtual Challenge fitness challenge posted on its website.

Run 26.2 miles in 30 days. Download the form and log your miles. When you complete your 26.2 miles, submit your form and we will mail you a FREE T-shirt.

Not a runner? No worries. Work out instead. Enter 1 mile on your form for every 15 minutes you work out. This can be yoga, weightlifting, walking, virtual classes, etc.

The rules are simple:

Click here to register for program 118125-01. Entry Fee: $10.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.