A bi-monthly publication of COVID-19 resources for Iowans from
Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
LEADING COMMUNITIES 2.0 TO LAUNCH IN SPRING 2021
Dynamic. That’s a word we use to describe the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program Leading Communities. We describe the program as dynamic because we want to always be able to adapt the program to the current and emerging community leadership and engagement needs of our Iowa counties. A research-based community engagement program, Leading Communities was developed and is provided to Iowa communities by community development specialists in Community and Economic Development.
Our most dramatic change in the program occurred in 2020, when COVID-19 forced us to pivot to a virtual delivery protocol. Read more about LC 2.0 here.
We are here to help.
February is Black History Month
February is Black History month, a federally recognized celebration of the history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans to our state and our country.
Here are some resources on ways to celebrate and learn about Black History Month:
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The State of Iowa coronavirus website has a tool where you can find a vaccine provider near you. Iowa has begun Phase 1B with tiered priority groups, but there continues to be a limited supply of vaccine in Iowa. For details and to locate a provider, visit: coronavirus.iowa.gov
In addition, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced a one-time allocation of unused vaccine for Iowans 65 years old and over. Appointments can be scheduled at select Walgreens and CVS pharmacies in certain counties.
For general questions about the vaccine, you may call 2-1-1.
Marketplace Special Enrollment Period February 15-May 15
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a special enrollment period from February 15 - May 15 through healthcare.gov for Marketplace-eligible individuals who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. The 2021 Special Enrollment Period provides access to health coverage during the pandemic. Some consumers may already be eligible for other existing Special Enrollment Periods, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and can visit healthcare.gov now to find out if they can enroll in the meantime. Starting February 15, consumers seeking to take advantage of the new Special Enrollment Period can find out if they are eligible by visiting healthcare.gov. Consumers can find local help at Localhelp.healthcare.gov or by calling the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Assistance is available in 150 languages. The call is free. Read more...
Tax Season to begin February 12, 2021
The IRS and the Iowa Department of Revenue will begin processing tax returns on February 12, 2021. Here are some important dates:
To read more about the 2021 tax filing season, visit the IRS website. It also contains information on how to claim a recovery rebate credit for people who did not receive or only received partial payment of their stimulus payments.
The Iowa Department of Revenue website has forms, resources, and answers to tax questions.
The Iowa legislature is in session. Legislators are meeting in person and have put in place some protocols for 2021. The legislature's website has information on legislators, bills, schedules, committee meetings, and how the public can participate and submit comments. Visit https://www.legis.iowa.gov.
The U.S. healthcare system can be hard to navigate, especially for newcomers. CORE Resettlement Support Center has compiled some COVID-19 related resources in multiple languages. Languages include Amharic, Burmese, Nepali, Somali, Spanish, Ukranian, and more. Fact sheets, videos, and podcasts are also available.
COVID-19 Language Resources
American Sign Language Videos-CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations
Congolese Health Partnership Videos
Coronavirus, State Website
Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language
EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center
Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube
Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access
Iowa Department of Public Health
Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936
Multi-Lingual Hotline 1-877-558-2609
Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa
Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)
Registration for the 2021 Little League Baseball and Softball Season is now open. Kids ages 4-12 are invited to register at: www.jeffersoncountylittleleague.com. Follow Jefferson County Little League on Facebook for up-to-date information on tryouts, team assignments, games and more! Practices and games will begin in mid-April. Visit our website for more information on player fees, age levels, tryouts and more.
All registered families will be entered to win Chamber Bucks in the increments of $50, $40, $30, $20, and $10. The first drawing will be held Friday, Feb 12 via a live Facebook event at 6pm. The last drawing will be held on March 12.
Email any questions to: email@example.com
2021 ISU Community Food Systems virtual event is February 12
Registration deadline extended to Feb. 10
The 7th Annual ISU Community Food Systems Event takes place VIRTUALLY via Zoom on Friday, February 12, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for the conference here. Cost is $20 and registration has been extended to Feb. 10. Plan to attend, as sessions will not be archived!
Breakouts: Two afternoon breakout sessions will cover three topics: business and organizational tools, community food access and minority-owned business strategies. Presentations will include:
Closing: The closing keynote features Deborah Tropp, a food business consultant who spent 26 years with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. Her presentation is titled "Local Food Markets: Business Development Opportunities and Leadership." The conference's final session from FFED's food systems team lead Courtney Long will give an overview of a new resource for food systems practitioners, the Food Systems Practitioner and Education Resource Database.Need more information? Contact Bre Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. #CFS21
The mission of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program is to support value-added agriculture enterprises, businesses, and regional food systems through research, education and community engagement.
Des Moines, Iowa – February 4, 2021 – With tax filing season upon us, the Iowa Department of Revenue is reminding Iowans of the many resources available that can assist taxpayers with filing their tax return.
The Department will begin processing returns at the same time as the IRS on February 12. This is because Iowa taxpayers are required to provide their federal return with their Iowa return. Iowa income tax returns are due on April 30.
The Department website is a good starting point to find tax forms and answers to all kinds of tax questions. Filing Made Easy explains the filing process in three simple steps and includes information on how to file, avoiding common mistakes, and details regarding the status of a refund. Additionally, the Tax Guidance section has been improved to allow taxpayers and tax professionals the ability to easily search for tax guidance.
Last year, the Department announced goals to process refunds in 30 days and to shorten wait times of customer calls. Refunds averaged 30 days or less throughout the tax season and phone call wait times decreased. Continuing to improve the customer experience remains a top priority with the Department.
While the Department’s walk-in help desk is not open due to COVID-19, there are several ways to contact the Department:
There are multiple ways to contact the Department:
Phone: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388
February 3, 2021 1500
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Chris Estle RN, BSN, Administrator
Jefferson County Public Health had vaccine on site and was able to schedule individuals age 65 and older prior to starting Phase 1B. All of those doses have been administered. It has been a challenging week for you, members of the public and for us at the health department. We continue to make improvements and changes to our dispensing plans. Plans have been in place for years and are reviewed and changed based on the current situation. We have experienced a similar situation with H1N1, vaccine was in short supply during that response as well.
During the Phase 1B Priority TIER 1-5, individuals 65 years of age are eligible to receive vaccine at any time. However, vaccine remains in very limited supply from the state in federal level.
Vaccine clinics are not scheduled until vaccine has arrived at the department. Too many issues could happen, vaccine could be redistributed at the state level or there may be a delay in shipping. At this time, local health departments do not know from week to week the number of doses we will be allocated for the following week. Future vaccine allocations are partially determined by the number of doses that have been administered. As we continue to receive increased vaccine allocations, we will begin to take names and schedule appointments. If and when we receive a large allocation of vaccine (greater than 1000 doses) we will set up a community clinic point of dispensing (POD). This has been the goal throughout this process. We have staff and community members ready to administer vaccine, we just do not have enough vaccine.
At this time with the large numbers wanting to receive vaccine, a list is just not manageable. At the health department, we understand that not all of our residents utilize electronic means of communication. The health department’s current process will remain in place: listen to local radio (KMCD-Classic 96), follow us on Facebook or you can call the office. You may receive a recorded message with the most current vaccine availability or information.
Jefferson County Public Health has met the goal for Phase 1A Healthcare professionals and longterm care centers. Jefferson County Public Health has met the goal for Phase 1B TIER 1-First Responders, Firefighters, Law Enforcement. (We are still working on child welfare and social workers)
Follow us on Facebook: Jefferson County Public Health, Jefferson County Emergency Management, Jefferson County Health Center
Fairfield, MSAE and Pekin schools will be receiving COVID-19 vaccine in the next several weeks. Dates and locations will not be released to the general public. This is part of Point of Dispensing (POD) security.
Effective today, Jefferson County Public Health is excited to share, that our community partners will be joining us in vaccine administration.
Jefferson County Public Health has allocated a small number of doses to the following partners:
Jefferson County Health Center: Phone 641-469-4180 www.jeffersoncountyhealthcenter.org
Hy-Vee Pharmacy: https://www.hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/covid-vaccine/consent.
Summit Pharmacy: Phone 641-472-7987
Our future partners will also include: Wal-Mart Pharmacy and NuCara Pharmacy.
Jefferson County Public Health will continue to allocate vaccine to our local partners.
Again, we do not have a large enough allocation to meet the current demand.
Thank you, members of our community for being understanding, respectful and supportive during this on-going process.
Manpower Webinar Event
Webinar: What We've Learned, What's New, and What's Ahead in 2021: The State of Work
Date: Thursday, February 4th
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm CST
Join Michael Stull, Senior Vice President of Manpower North America and Mark Toth, Chief Legal and Public Affairs Officer, ManpowerGroup North America as they discuss how the world of work is changing – again. Including up-to-date insights on new factors employers need to be considering from vaccinations in the workplace to evolving best practices for getting America back to work, legislative, policy and even behavior changes in the workforce that will impact your organization, and a preview of the innovations Manpower has planned for 2021 that will help keep your business moving forward.
View details and register for the webinar here
Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant
The SBA is in the process of setting up the grant program and is not yet accepting applications. Please review the PDF below for information on eligibility, grant amount, use of grant proceeds, and preparing to apply.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw Loans Overview
Please review the PDF below for information on eligibility, grant amount, use of grant proceeds, and preparing to apply for PPP2.
The Well Thrift Store in Fairfield will begin accepting donations from 10-5 PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning February 3rd to stock the store in preparation for opening soon. Look for future Saturday drop-off times once the store is open. The Well Fairfield is located at 1700 South Main Street in Fairfield, Iowa. During designated donation hours, proceed to the back of the building and look for signs to drop donations off inside the appropriate donation doors. No donations are to be left outside. Items that can be donated include gently used clothing, shoes, linens, housewares, home décor, craft supplies, vintage items, books, DVDs, toys, baby gear, sporting goods, tools, working electric appliances, and furniture. Donations not accepted include items that are broken, paints and chemicals, custom window treatments, building materials, pianos and organs, outdated media and TVs. All items donated to The Well Thrift Store in Fairfield support the Well’s ministry to help local people reach long-term stability in life. If you would like to be a part of transforming lives by volunteering, visit www.thewelliowa.org to sign up. Many volunteers are needed to launch and operate The Well Thrift Store and the Well Resource Center.
Become a Bald Eagle Nest Monitor
Two Training Opportunities to Become a Volunteer Bald Eagle Nest Monitor
Community science volunteers have been helping to monitor Iowa’s eagle population since 2006. Workshop participants will learn about this program and how to get involved and monitor a nest in their area of the state. Iowa has over 400 active bald eagle nests across the state plus many more that have an unknown status. In 2020, volunteer nest monitors collected data on roughly 250 of these nests!
Program coordinator Stephanie Shepherd explains, “With more than 1000 wildlife species in the state, we just don’t have enough staff in the DNR to adequately monitor all the vulnerable species that need attention. This is where community scientists play a crucial role.”
To be a bald eagle nest monitor you will need a pair of binoculars and preferably a spotting scope. Nest monitors are particularly needed in the following counties; Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Floyd, Greene, Guthrie, Henry, Jones, Lucas and Winneshiek Counties; but interested people anywhere in the state are welcome. We will try to match you up with a nest near your home base. The time commitment for conducting the survey and submitting data is roughly 6 hours total between March and July each year and will require multiple visits to a nest.
Each workshop will be limited to 20 households and a $5.00 fee is required. Registration will close on February 17th at 5 pm or whenever the 20 household per workshop limit has been reached. Direct questions to Stephanie Shepherd at email@example.com.
Interested volunteers must register for one of two training workshops. Workshops are limited to 20 households each. Registration will close when that number of registrants has been reached or on February 17th, 2021, whichever comes first.
There is a $5 fee to cover workshop materials. For more information and to register, go to www.iowadnr.gov/vwmp or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org