CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for April 7: Public campgrounds, cabins closed as of 8 a.m.

Operations manager JJ Miller hangs plastic sheeting in an NTS van in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Plastic sh
Operations manager JJ Miller hangs plastic sheeting in an NTS van in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Plastic sheeting was installed in the NTS buses and vans to help protect drivers and passengers from riders who may be ill. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

5:15 p.m. Iowa National Guard Establishes 6 Regional Medical Coordination Centers

The Iowa National Guard has announced it is providing facilities and personnel to support six regional medical coordination centers across the state as part of a coalition to pool resources and aid in the sharing of critical information across multiple agencies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soldiers and airmen will help staff the RMCCs, based at Iowa National Guard facilities hroughout the

state, to gather real-time, validated health care facility status information to hel ealth care

providers make more informed treatment decisions based on immediately available esources like open

hospital beds, available staffing, personal protective equipment, and other critical health care

assets, according to a press release.

RMCCs will help facilitate multi-agency and civilian partner communication, critical nformation

sharing, and coordination of health care related resources across the region they erve,” said Maj.

Gen. Benjamin Corell, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard.

The coordination centers are located at Iowa National Guard armories in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids,

Camp Dodge, Mason City, Council Bluffs and Sioux City.

1:50 p.m. 7 Tips For Celebrating Easter During COVID-19

During these dark times, Connie Chow of DailyCaring.com has created a lighter-hearted list of seven things everyone can do to safely and festively celebrate Easter.

1. Decorate your house.

2. Make creative Easter baskets for future gifting.

3. Send Easter cards to family and friends.

4. Have a virtual family gathering on Easter day or night.

5. Play Easter games.

6. Participate virtually in Easter church service.

7. Have a virtual Easter parade.

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For specifics on Chow’s lists, you can click here.

12:07 p.m. State DNR reminds Public To Social Distance While Boating, Fishing

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reminded boaters Tuesday to abide by “physical distancing protocols” when using public boat ramps and while fishing.

The DNR said boat ramps have been crowded this week with warm weather. It DNR advises only one boat use a ramp at a time to help prevent contact with other boaters.

Its recommendations:

1. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other boaters and avoid popular areas where people may congregate.

2. Stick with your immediate family, but keep groups to fewer than 10 people.

3. Bring along hand sanitizer.

4. Clean surfaces that others may have touched (e.g boat dock handrails) with wet wipes.

11:49 a.m. Changes To Lifeline Telephone Program

Temporary changes have been made by the Federal Communications Commission in regards to the Lifeline telephone program.

Lifeline allows qualified low-income Iowans and others basic telephone service, broadband internet access or bundled services they may not otherwise be able to access.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary changes have been made to the Lifeline program. For current program participants already receiving assistance, recertification is on hold for anniversary dates between April 14 and August 14, and all new reverification activity is on hold through May 18.

Learn more about the Lifeline program at usac.org/lifeline and get information and updates on FCC changes at fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected.

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10 a.m. Campgrounds, Cabins, Yurts Temporarily Closed

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday closing all public campgrounds, cabins and yurts on a temporary basis. The closings go through April 30.

The proclamation went into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday. State parks, forests and preserves remain open around the state for visitors.

8:40 a.m. Casey’s And DoorDash Partnering For Pizza, Food Delivery

Casey’s General Stores announced it has partnered with DoorDash to deliver its pizzas, select appetizers and 20-ounce soda’s to suburban and rural areas throughout its footprint.

Delivery will be available seven days a week during Casey’s store kitchen hours.

For more information, contact the Casey’s website here.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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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.