CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 in Iowa, live updates for March 15: Cedar Rapids Public Library closes to public

The Cedar Rapids Public Library in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Gazette file photo)
The Cedar Rapids Public Library in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Gazette file photo)
/

10:00 p.m. Cedar Rapids Public Library closes to public Monday

From a Facebook post: “The Cedar Rapids Public Library is closed to the public starting March 16 until further notice. ... Due dates will be adjusted so patrons can keep all materials until April 16. Online and phone reference help will be available from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm until further notice. While the Library is closed, please visit https://www.crlibrary.org/resourcesservices/ for resources you can use from home.”

6:58 p.m.: Cedar Rapids Parks and Rec cancels programs

The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department said it will cancel recreation programs and close facilities — except administrative offices — beginning Monday. Closed will be Bender Pool, Northwest Recreation Center, Tait Cummins Sports Complex and the Tuma Sports Complex. Youth spring break camps and programs, open swim and water exercise, open gym at Northwest Recreation Center and the Capitol City Open will be canceled as well, according to the department.

4:33 p.m.: Iowa Children’s Museum temporarily closes

The Iowa Children’s Museum will close through at least March 30, Executive Director Jeff Capps said Sunday.

All programming, camps and events at the nonprofit museum during the period will be rescheduled or canceled, he said.

“There has been no known exposure to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 in the museum or amongst our guests or staff,” Capps said in a statement. “This decision was made to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to contribute to the health and well-being of our community.”

4:04 p.m. Iowa Auditor enacts health precautions at office

For his office’s employees, Iowa’s State Auditor Rob Sand has suspended office travel and directed “employees with risk factors for coronavirus or general immunodeficiencies, or employees who live with someone who has them, to work from home.”

3:46 p.m. Iowa DPS offers 6 tips for increasing cybersecurity

The Iowa Department of Public Safety and other federal agencies are warning citizens to exercise caution should they receive any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and to be wary of social media pleas, texts, or phone calls related to COVID-19.

They offer the following 6 tips. See their news release for additional details on each.

1) Keep personal information out of emails

2) Use extreme caution with email attachments

3) Access only trusted national online medical resources

4) Visit official State of Iowa agency websites and social media accounts

5) Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations

6) Stay abreast of U.S. cyber threats to mitigate business risk

3:34 p.m. Rumored COVID-19 case untrue, Mercy Hospital says

On the Mercy Cedar Rapids Facebook page today, the hospital wrote:

“We understand there may be information circulating online that Mercy has a case of COVID-19. At this time, Mercy has NOT had a positive test of COVID-19, nor has there been a positive test in Linn County. For the latest information, please visit www.mercycare.org/COVID.”

12:52 p.m. IDPH posts document on Community Spread Mitigation Guidance

Yesterday, the Iowa Department of Public Health published a document online, titled COVID-19 Community Spread Mitigation Guidance [PDF].

The document lists preventive measures as well as a list of underlying health conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 cases.

12:33 p.m. Indian Creek Nature Center closes locations

The Indian Creek Nature has decided to close their Amazing Space, Penningroth Barn and Etzel Sugar Grove Farm locations to the public, effective today and until further notice, the organization stated in a Facebook post.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The Maple Syrup Festival, scheduled for March 21 and March 22, has been postponed.

12 p.m. Iowa City Public Library Closes

The Iowa City Public Library announced Sunday morning that it is closed, effective immediately. The library did not indicate in a Facebook post announcing the closure when it would reopen.

Patrons with items that are due are able to keep them for now, fines have been suspended and due dates are extended until May 4, the library said.

“We will be delighted to see you and your books back in the library when the closure period passes,” the library stated in its post.

10:15 a.m. All Iowa Auto Show in Des Moines cancels final day today

From a news release: “The All Iowa Auto Show has been canceled Sunday due to the recent Coronavirus updates shared last evening by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The state recommended for the first time that Iowans not hold or attend large gatherings of more than 250 people, an effort aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.”

The All Iowa Auto Show was being held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, and was scheduled for four days, Thursday through today.

9:35 a.m. Iowa Department of Corrections cancels visiting at all prisons

Effective last night, March 14, the Iowa Department of Corrections canceled visiting at all state prisons until further notice, according to a news release.

“This is being done out of an abundance of caution for the department’s vulnerable population,” the release stated.

All volunteer activities in the prisons are also canceled for now, according to the Department of Corrections page on COVID-19.

The release added, “The DOC realizes the impact this can have on institution morale over time, and also knows the value of keeping inmates connected with their families. To help address this concern, the department has been exploring reduced cost or free phone calls, reduced cost O-mails, and is working to establish the capability for video visitations.”

Support our coverage

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.

Support our coverage

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.