Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for May 6: UnityPoint Health requiring facemask usage at all facilities

Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School senior Jami Cook has her photo taken with her decision day 2020 certificate during a
Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School senior Jami Cook has her photo taken with her decision day 2020 certificate during a senior appreciation event by the staff at the school in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Monday, April 20, 2020. Teachers and staff handed out decision day certificates, cheered on the seniors and gave them yard signs in a show of support. About 70 percent of the seniors came through the two-hour event. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

4:30 p.m. U.S. Cellular Donates $10,000 To Boys & Girls Clubs

U.S. Cellular announced it has donated $10,000 to the local Boys & Girls Club as part of its COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The company said it is part of its $325,000 in donations that will be distributed to more than 50 Boys & Girls Clubs in U.S. Cellular’s service regions, as a way to “support the most immediate needs of youth in those areas.”

There are seven Iowa and Nebraska clubs that will receive $60,000, U.S. Cellular said. The others are located in Ames ($5,000), Davenport/Moline ($10,000), Des Moines ($10,000), Dubuque ($10,000), Omaha/Council Bluffs ($10,000) and Waterloo ($5,000).

3 p.m. Can/Bottle Drive Drive-Thru This Saturday At Lindale Mall

The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is partnering with Financial Education and Interpersonal Development to host a can and bottle drive drive-thru Saturday at Lindale Mall.

A semi-truck from the Can Shed will be parked on the 1st Avenue side of the mall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, with the community encouraged to donate empty aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Profits from all donations will be shared between FEID./The “Cans for College” Program and the Freedom Festival.

“The Cans for College Program is designed to help support the youth in the community for post-high school education—allowing students to receive support for school, no matter their chosen path.” F.E.I.D. program creator, Maurice Davis said. “FEID and The Freedom Festival working on the Can Drive Drive-Thru together is a reminder of how much we can get done in a short time when we pull together. Our community is better when we work together.”

Organizers ask that cans and bottles be in separate bags. Drive up, open the trunk to your vehicle, and vounteers will help to take all loose or bagged donations.

No glass is being allowed.


2:45 p.m. Summer Video Performances, Fall Collaboration With Iowa City Book Festival Planned

The Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature has announced the 10th-annual MusicIC Festival will offer alternative programming this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video performances from musicians who will play the festival live in 2021 will be featured, with further details on the videos forthcoming, according to City of Literature Executive Director John Kenyon. Thursday, June 18 will feature a video performance by violinist Miki-Sophia Cloud and June 19 one from baritone Jorell Williams.

On June 20, it will be “Ferdinand the Bull” (a story by Munro Leaf and music by Alan Ridout), featuring performances from violinist Tricia Park and vocalist Meagan Brus.

In addition to this programming, MusicIC and the Iowa City Book Festival plan to partner with Riverside Theatre for October performances to celebrate Beethoven’s 400th birthday. The organizations will collaborate on a production of “The Kreutzer Sonata: A Play in Five Tiny Movements” by Jennifer Fawcett. The play is based on the novella “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy. Music performed is Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 (Kreutzer), and Leos Janáček’s Quartet No. 1 (Kreutzer Sonata). Details about this production will be shared this summer with the Book Festival lineup.

1:55 p.m. St. Luke’s West Entrance Reopening

The West Entrance to UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s Hospital will reopen to patients and visitors daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., it has been announced.

This main entrance will be staffed by screeners, who will check temperatures and briefly ask a few health questions. Limited visitor restrictions still apply and anyone entering the hospital will be required to wear a mask, per the universal UnityPoint Health masking policy.

St. Luke’s ER entrance will remain separate from the West Entrance. Additionally, valet parking will resume at the hospital and nearby medical office building.

1:40 p.m. Iowa DOT Closes Davenport Driver’s Service Center After Employee Tests Positive

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it is closing its Davenport driver’s service center after an employee at that location has tested positive for COVID-19.


The service center will be closed until May 19 for thorough cleaning and sanitizing, the DOT said. All employees will self-isolate.

Iowa DOT is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health to follow contact tracing protocols.

1 p.m. UnityPoint Health requiring Masks/Face Covering

UnityPoint Health said Tuesday that any person entering its hospitals, clinics and facilities is now being required to wear a mask or face covering.

Infants and young children under the age of 2 do not need to wear a mask because often, masks don’t fit properly, and young children struggle to keep them on without touching them, it said.

To conserve surgical masks and other PPE for healthcare workers, UnityPoint Health is asking patients and visitors to partner with us by bringing their own masks as part of their regular routine.

“As we continue to practice social distancing, everyone should get in the habit of keeping a mask or face covering with you at all times,” said Dr. Megan Romine, UnityPoint Health. “These face coverings help protect patients, healthcare workers and the community at large.”

Based on availability, some locations may be able to provide masks for patients and visitors that don’t have one. However, facilities with high patient volume may not be able to accommodate everyone who doesn’t have a mask.

For information on how to make no-sew masks or if you’d like to donate masks, please visit


10:38 a.m. C.R. Second C.R. Police Officer Tests Positive

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has announced a second city police officer has tested positive for coronavirus.

The officer was off duty, began to experience minor symptoms while at home and requested a test Sunday that came back positive Wednesday. The officer last worked Saturday and is between 18 and 40.

The department said the officer is self-isolating in accordance with the Iowa Department of Public Health and local public health guidelines.

10:30 a.m. C.R. Downtown Farmers Market Will Be Drive-Thru

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance announced Tuesday the June 6 and June 20 dates of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market presented by Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust will be drive-thru only.

Prior to the market, attendees will place orders online on the local e-commerce platform, Cedar Rapids Area Shop Where I Live at Attendees will pick up items from vendors between 7:30 a.m. and noon on market Saturdays.

The drive-thru markets will take place in Downtown Cedar Rapids and feature about 30 vendors with products like produce, honey, baked goods, prepared food and other farm products. Online ordering for June 6 vendors will be available from Monday, May 25 to Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. No purchases will be made on-site. A list of June 6 vendors and the market venue will be available soon on

8:30 a.m. Englert, Other I.C. Music Venues Ask For Help

The Englert Theatre and partnering music venues The Mill, Gabe’s, Trumpet Blossom and others in Iowa City are asking supporters to contact senators and other politicians to give them help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The venues have joined the National Independent Venue Association, a group of more than 1,200 independent music venues and promoters in 50 states, to urge Congress to give them the financial assistance they need to survive their current shutdowns and reopen once the pandemic passes.


They ask supporters to click on the NIVA website here to join their fight.

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