Both the Federal Government and the State of Iowa are working diligently to combat the spread of the Coronavirus that emerged in China. Below are a number of useful links that you should consider using as a resource. The links provide up to date information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health on everything from the number of cases present in the state of Iowa, to best practices that you can use to help protect yourself and your family from the potential spread of this illness. In addition, the State of Iowa has set up a public hotline if you have questions about the Wuhan Virus (COVID-19). For further information, Iowans can call 2-1-1, a number which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Trump Administration has launched a website, https://www.coronavirus.gov/, to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control:
Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Disease Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2hoC3ogg_eeYsSvex-9oNrKuOhEOdHtgI53tLhbKtmT-oEKBf5dlAGafg
Here is a link to a Centers for Disease Control Risk Assessment Page for Travelers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Iowa Department of Public Health:
Here is a link established by the Iowa Department of Public Health in which up-to-date information about the spread of the Wuhan Virus (COVID-19) in Iowa is posted. The page also contains important information on general preparation and prevention best practices: https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus
Here is a link which discusses the three presumptive positive cases that have been identified in Johnson County, Iowa: https://idph.iowa.gov/News/ArtMID/646/ArticleID/158296/COVID-19-Presumptively-Confirmed-in-Three-Iowa-Residents#.XmV6ED0Gv2Q.twitter
Iowa Department of Public Health: Press Releases:
Additional COVID-19 Cases in Iowa (3/28/20)
Additional COVID-19 Cases in Iowa (3/19/20)
Additional COVID-19 Cases in Iowa (3/18/20)
Community Spread Confirmed in Iowa (3/14/20)
IDPH Mass Gathering Recommendations (3/12/20)
Additional COVID-19 Case in Iowa (3/11/20)
Additional COVID-19 Cases in Iowa (3/10/20)
Iowa Economic Development Authority: COVID-19 Iowa Business Recovery Assistance
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has created a terrific website with information for small businesses about Wuhan Virus/COVID-19 recovery programs, including links to applications for financial assistance through the Iowa Small Business Relief Fund, the Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund, and the SBA Disaster Assistance Loans. That website is linked here.
Department of Justice: Reporting Wuhan Virus/COVID-19 Fraud
From their website:
The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. In a memo to U.S. Attorneys, Attorney General Barr said, "The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated."
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams. There have been reports of:
- Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
- Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
- Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms. Go to:
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov
- If it's a cyber scam, submit your complaint through https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
National Center for Disaster Fraud: Reporting Wuhan Virus/COVID-19 Fraud
From their website: Coronavirus-related (COVID-19) complaints should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or e-mail at email@example.com. The NCDF is a national coordinating agency within the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division dedicated to improving the detection, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of criminal conduct related to natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19). Hotline staff will obtain information regarding your complaint, which will then be reviewed by law enforcement officials.
President Trump's Federal Disaster Declaration for Iowa:
At the State's request, on March 24 President Trump declared a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Iowa which will allow federal funds to be made available to "State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Iowa impacted by COVID-19."
The declaration may be see at this link.
Small Business Administration:
The Small Business Administartion has created a webpage to provide information to those seeking small business guidance and loan resources. That page is located at https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
United States Department of Agriculture Links:
The USDA has set up an important coronavirus resource page: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
I encouage you to utilize this resource. Here are some of the initiatives the USDA is undertaking in response to this disease:
National Corn Growers Association: Steps on the Farm to Manage COVID-19
The NCGA has produced a helpful guide with numerous tips and best practes suggestions that many may wish to incorporate into there own Wuhan Virus/COVID 19 precautions. I encourage you to click the link above if you are interested in seeing additional ways you can safeguard your farm as we all work to defeat this virus.