COVID-19 Update 

Iowa Poultry Association (IPA) recognizes the impacts of COVID-19, and the impacts on businesses.

We remind all members that the office in Urbandale is closed to visitors in our attempt to follow social distancing suggestions. You can still reach our staff via phone or email. If you'd like to reach a specific IPA staff member, please visit our contact us page online. No doubt our lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We will get through this trying time together. I’m grateful to our first responders, health care professionals, farmers, food processors, truck drivers, and those working at our grocery stores. 

COVID-19 Links 

Unemployment/Paid Leave
Iowa Workforce Development
www.IowaWorkforceDevelopment.gov

Small Business
Iowa Economic Development
https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/businessrecovery
Small Business Committee
Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act

US Small Business Administration Guidance & Loan Resources

The Iowa Department of Public Health has created an easy algorithm to help businesses screen employees and visitors at the door to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Health Screening Algorithm for Businesses

State of Iowa COVID-19 Page  
https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/

CDC website at 
www.cdc.gov


US Department of Agriculture
https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
USDA Rural Development
https://rd.usda.gov/coronavirus

Iowa DNR COVID Page

US Department of Housing and Urban Development
https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus
Healthcare -Energy and Commerce & Ways and Means Committees
FAQs: Health Care Provisions in H.R. 748, the CARES Act
SNAP/Hunger Assistance USDA Food Nutrition Service
https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19
House Agriculture Committee 
Coronavirus and Anti-Hunger Programs

Payments to Individuals Internal Revenue Service (IRS) https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Ways and Means Committee
Ways and Means Committee FAQ

Education/Student Loans US Department of Education
https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus
Veterans Affairs Public Health
https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/

Food Safety Article – ISU Extension and Outreach The ISU Extension and Outreach specialists said the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and the European Food Safety Authority are in full agreement that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has spread through food or food packaging. Previous coronavirus epidemics likewise showed no evidence of having been spread through food or packaging.

Food Safety Guidance - FDA  Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. The FDA has created a website to address frequently asked questions related to food production and processing facilities.

Iowa Export Services – Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Iowa Economic Development Authority issued an e-newsletter highlighting services the agency provides to help businesses continue their international marketing efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak. These resources include global market research and international marketing grants.

Blood Donations Needed: The US Surgeon General is still encouraging everyone who can to donate blood. LifeServe Blood Center locations can be found here. Your blood donation to LifeServe stays in your area, supporting hospitals in Iowa. 

   
   
   
   

 

3/27/20 - House Passes $2 Trillion Relief Bill - President Trump signed the legislation.  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed the CARES Act: “The passage of the Coronavirus response legislation will provide much needed relief to Americans across this country, especially workers and small-business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19. President Trump has made the safety and security of the American people a top priority during this national emergency, and this bill will help make Americans more financially secure. At USDA we will deliver relief assistance to farmers and ranchers as quickly as possible,” said Secretary Perdue. “Americans across the nation are stepping up to the challenges facing them during these uncertain times. At USDA we are doing our part to ensure those who need help will get it, whether it’s through nutrition assistance, ensuring the food supply chain is safe and secure, or through new flexibilities with our Rural Development loan programs.”

Ag groups seek additional exemptions for truckers

Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Business Guidance FAQ 3.24.20

3/26/20 - USDA Update - Please visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information on USDA services and resources. This page include frequently asked questions, USDA actions to respond to COVID-19, and additional resources from CDC, FEMA, and other agencies. Learn more about the latest actions from USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Rural Development, and other agencies.

Iowa Livestock Industry Update

3/25/2020 - Labor Department releases fact sheets for Families First Coronavirus Response Act 
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on Tuesday announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1. The FFCRA will provide businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law. The department said updates will be provided on a rolling basis. Locally, workplace benefits expert David Lind provides some insights in his blog about how some Central Iowa organizations have been preparing for the FFCRA provisions so far. 

3/24/2020 - Iowa Livestock Industry Update

IPA Update

We remind all members that the office in Urbandale is closed to visitors in our attempt to follow social distancing suggestions. You can still reach our staff via phone or email. If you'd like to reach a specific IPA staff member, please visit our contact us page online. No doubt our lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We will get through this trying time together. I’m grateful to our first responders, health care professionals, farmers, food processors, truck drivers, and those working at our grocery stores. 

Below is an update of information I’ve received a state representative, and information we've compiled. Please share it with others. If you have any specific concerns on an issue that IPA is not already addressing, please feel free to reach out to us, and share your issues and concerns. I am in contact with Secretary Naig and Governor Reynolds, and can serve as your liaison to our elected officials. 

We're all in this together. Please stay healthy, take care of yourself, and your family. 

Call 211 if you have questions or in need of resources & info because of COVID-19. 

There were additional positive cases of Iowans w/COVID-19 reported. Go to the Iowa COVID-19 website for info on numbers, more details on info below, and info/links from our Governor & the federal government: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/

The CDC launched an online bot called Clara to help people who think they may have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, decide whether to seek medical care. The Coronavirus Self-Checker asks questions to establish the user's level of illness and their location, and recommendations for users may include calling 911 or staying at home and contacting their health care provider within 24 hours.
 
The Governor’s Sunday 3/22/20 Health Disaster Proclamation includes the following:  

  • Suspends foreclosures on residential, commercial, & ag property
  • Salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments, & swimming pools closed until March 31, 2020
  • Provides professional licensing relief to remove barriers to many in the medical profession & to prevent the expiration of professional licenses during the disaster
  • Further child care guidance issued: Parents/guardians must drop off children at the door where the children's temperatures will be taken. If a child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees they must go home. Child care services must practice distancing during this time as much as possible. Child care services must send DHS updates every day on availability. If you need access to childcare, please visithttps://iowaccrr.org/families/ or call ‪1-855-244-5301. DHS has established an online map that shows what child care facilities have openings: https://iowa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/cabe69b5e2494259ab6c820c249e0f19  DHS is compiling all COVID-19 DHS resources in one place at www.dhs.iowa.gov/covid19 

The Governor’s previous declaration included Property Tax Payments Suspended. On the Governor’s above website: “The Governor has issued a proclamation that waives penalty and interest that would have accrued if someone did not pay property tax by April 1, 2020. If someone doesn't pay by April 1, 2020, the person would still be technically "delinquent," he or she just wouldn't owe penalty and interest for the late payment. Treasurers will still have authority to send a delinquency notice if payment is not received ahead of April 1, 2020.”https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/
 
From previous Gov proclamation: Iowa is extending the deadline for filing and paying state income taxes to ‪July 31. Check out the Iowa Department of Revenue info at:https://tax.iowa.gov/iowa-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline-income-tax-and-other-tax-types

Iowa Unemployment Insurance Tax Extension to help small businesses https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/gov-reynolds-announces-unemployment-insurance-tax-extension-to-assist-small

Evictions Suspended
The Governor temporarily suspended some evictions until at least ‪April 16. Check out the Iowa COVID-19 website above for details. The federal government on March 18th (HUD) announced a 60-day suspension of foreclosures & evictions for single family homeowners w/Federal Housing Administration insured mortgages.

Small Businesses: please remember to fill out the survey the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has put together. They need to assess the impact of the pandemic in Iowa. This will help Iowa small businesses receive federal funds.  https://uni.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4SK7W5qa88IkhXT

Go to the Iowa Workforce Development page for unemployment FAQ’s & helpful webinars for employers and employees: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov

Relief to Small Businesses

  • Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has a website with programs for small business owners, www.iowabusinessrecovery.com  IEDA is working on a state grant program for small businesses, info will be on the website when it is available. 
  • The Governor’s office has announced Iowa has been added to the list of states eligible for loans through the Small Business Administration.  Iowa small business owners can apply here: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

Utilities: The Department of Human Rights, Division of Community Action Agencies has extended the application time period for the Low Income Home EnergyAssistance Program (LIHEAP) from ‪April 30 to May 31. Iowans seeking LIHEAP financial assistance should contact their local community action agency ‪before May 31 to discuss the application process and eligibility. Linn Co area go to https://www.hacap.org/what-we-do/energy-conservation/apply-liheap/ . From Alliant Energy: As we work together through the concern and uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, Alliant Energy is temporarily suspending disconnections for non-payment customers. Consider following Alliant Energy or your utility company on social media for updates.

SNAP & Food Assistance: United Way is amazing and their call centers are a vital lifeline for many Iowans who need additional food resources. Now that the 211 call centers are helping triage COVID-19 symptoms, it’s possible the centers could get busy. Contacts for other food resources in Iowa (in addition to calling 211):

  • Iowa's food banks. Contact info for each food bank can be found at: https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank If you don't know which bank serves your community, place your zip code in the Feeding America food bank finder.
  • The Iowa Food Assistance Hotline helps people apply for Food Assistance. Call: ‪855-944-3663
  • WIC provides critical nutrition services for pregnant mothers & children age 5 & under. They’re working to provide flexible services during the COVID-19 crisis. Call: ‪800-532-1579 
  • The Area Agencies on Aging offer a variety of services including home delivered meals. Lifelong Links call center has information and services for vulnerable older adults age 60+ and adults with disabilities age 18+. Call: ‪866-468-7887. 

Public Health: The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), a national resource for suicide and mental health items, has compiled a list of resources available on mental health and coping during this COVID-19 pandemic. http://www.sprc.org/news/resources-support-mental-health-coping-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery 

Blood Donations Needed: The US Surgeon General is still encouraging everyone who can to donate blood. LifeServe Blood Center locations can be found here. Your blood donation to LifeServe stays in your area, supporting hospitals in Iowa. 

Federal Updates: Federal Student Loans: President Trump announced that federal student loan borrowers may take break from making their monthly payments, without incurring interest or penalties for at least the next two months. The US Education Department said it would set the interest rates on all federally held student loans to zero until at least ‪May 12. In order for a borrower to take advantage of this they MUST call their loan service now. 
Link: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/delivering-president-trumps-promise-secretary-devos-suspends-federal-student-loan-payments-waives-interest-during-national-emergency
 
Possible New Federal Legislation: More details are starting to come forward on the Senate CARES Act (not passed yet): Cash Payments: Legislation includes as much as $1,200 per person or $2,400 per married couple. Those with income of less than $75,000 and $150,000 as join filers will get the full payment. Small Business Loans: Businesses with less than 500 employees will be able to apply for loans that are free of fees of up to $10 million to help cover payroll, salaries, mortgages, rent, and other debt obligations. Industry Specific Loans: The proposal has $208 billion in loan promises for industries that are struggling due to the Coronavirus, $50 billion for Airlines, $8 billion for Cargo Carriers & $150 billion for unnamed businesses. Health Care: Requires the FDA to expedite and put a priority on the review of new drugs. Requires insurers to pay for COVID-19 testing with no fees for patient, free no cost sharing of certain vaccines when available and an additional $1.32 billion for funding of community health centers. Tax Deadlines: The bill would also move the federal tax deadline to ‪July 15th. The US Senate has expressed his hope in passing the bill on Monday, Link:https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/20/senate-coronavirus-emergency-stimulus-deal-friday-138788

Travel: US citizens stuck overseas should enroll in the STEP program. This let’s our embassies know they have citizens in their country. Once enrolled, our embassy will communicate & can alert citizens on best practices. STEP enrollment can be found at www.travel.state.gov then go to international travel. On the left hand side you will see the link to enroll in STEP. Also families should make contact with Overseas Citizen Services at 888-407-4747 from the US or 202-501-4444 from any country. 
 
If you’ve just returned from travel including other countries the CDC has recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html The State Department has also advised all Americans to stop traveling abroad, raising the global travel advisory to level 4, the highest level. 
 
US Department of Human Services: On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an update to its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the ‪Medicaid.gov website to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. You can find the updated FAQs here: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/downloads/covid-19-faqs.pdf

More information on COVID-19 is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov