Siouxland District Health is working with the Iowa Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prepare for and minimize the impacts of COVID-19 in our community. Social, community, spiritual, religious recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of 10 or more are prohibited and social distancing is encouraged to stop or slow the spread of the virus.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to:
- Avoid crowds where there are more than 10 people and practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently
- Support your local businesses
- Unless it’s essential, please stay at home
Routes are running normally. In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Sioux City Transit passengers will now enter and exit through the back door of the bus. Only passengers in a mobility device (wheelchair/scooter) will be allowed to enter or exit through the front door.
Bus use should be limited to essential rides only, such as trips to the grocery store, work or for medical needs. Hand sanitizer is available and buses are being sanitized regularly.
Residents are encouraged to pay utility bills and parking tickets online, by phone at 279-6132, Option 1 or by using the utility billing drop box located on 6th Street on the north side of the Library parking lot. The Customer Service Center will waive all late penalties and fees for utility bills and parking fines until March 31.
At this time garbage, recycling and yard waste collection continues as normal.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Iowans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. The Iowa DNR recommends obtaining your potable water from your tap as much as possible to conserve bottled water for emergency situations if needed.
Don’t flush anything down your toilet except toilet paper to avoid a clog in your home and the city’s sewer system. “Flushable” wipes are not safe for the sewer system and — like fats, oils, and grease — can cause build up and clog pipes.
The toilet is NOT a trash can.
Please DO NOT flush:
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
- Feminine hygiene products
- Kitchen cleaning wipes
Social distancing measures should be taken when visiting local parks and trails. All parks and trails (including dog parks) remain open.
The Sioux City Animal Adoption & Rescue Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with limited office staff. Dog parks remain open.
The Sioux Gateway Airport is operating as normal at this time. American Airlines is providing updates regarding customer service and reservation assistance on their website and social media pages.
MidAmerican Energy operations are fully functional. They are suspending late payment fees and are not disconnecting for non-payments.
There are 15-minute free parking meters, designated by a white meter bag, available on downtown streets for those who are picking up items from local businesses offering take-out/curb-side pick up to their customers.
Governor Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to any Iowa businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Application deadline is Tuesday, March 31, at 12 p.m.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to eligible small businesses.
Paid Leave for Workers - the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.
The Siouxland Recovery Fund has been activated to aid in recover efforts for those impacted by COVID-19. Donations are currently being accepted.
A note to businesses from Siouxland District Health
Plan your meals for the week and only visit the grocery store once per week to avoid repeated contact with others.
The Siouxland Local Eats-To-Go Facebook Group offers information about local restaurants and bars that are offering pick-up and delivery options.
Local Food Pantries – Community Action Agency, Food Bank of Siouxland, Hope Center, Salvation Army – remain open with drive through pantry events. A calendar is available www.siouxlandfoodbank.org. Healthy volunteers are welcome – in groups of less than 10 - and financial assistance is appreciated.
Local grocery stores have special hours in place to accommodate those with an increased susceptibility to serious illness, those who are 65 years and older, and expecting mothers. Check their Facebook pages.
The School City Community School District is offering free breakfast and lunch sacks at more than 20 locations and available to children ages 1-18 years old.
The Food Bank of Siouxland is partnering with Tyson and the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA to provide protein to those in need during this COVID-19 crisis. The distribution from the truck will begin on Thursday, March 26 at 1 p.m. and will continue Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or until the donation has been fully distributed.
Appointments are required and can be made by calling the Y at 402-404-8439.
Sioux City hospitals, MercyOne and UnityPoint-St. Luke’s, have restrictions in place and no visitors are allowed.
MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's, Dunes Surgical Hospital, and Pierce Street Same Day Surgery are postponing elective surgeries and procedures beginning on Tuesday, March 24 in response to COVID-19.
Mercy One and UnityPoint St. Luke's are accepting personal protective equipment (PPE) including factory-made N95 masks, gowns and face shields.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Pressures of everyday life coupled with recent added stress can be overwhelming. Talking with someone if you are struggling can help.
- Catholic Charities, 712-252-4547. Provides assistance to anyone regardless of age or religious preference. Telehealth services available.
- Boys and Girls Home and Family Services, 712-293-4700. Mental health services to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Telehealth services available.
- Heartland Counseling Services, Inc., 402-494-3337. Provides a wide range of services to anyone, has multilingual services available, and offers Telehealth therapy.
- Siouxland Mental Health Center, 712-252-3871. Offering Psychiatry, Therapy and Community Support services to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Local attractions have closed as mass gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Locations include the Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City Public Museum, Sgt. Floyd Welcome Center, Sioux City Public Libraries, LaunchPAD Children’s Museum, MidAmerica Museum of Air & Transportation, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre.
Public facilities (City Hall, Woodbury County Courthouse) are also closed to the general public, however, staff are still available to speak with by phone, email or by appointment.
The Hesse-Carlson Arena Sports Academy is offering free virtual sports training with wrestling, basketball, volleyball and dance.
The Siouxland Y is offering many free, online services including child STEM activities on Facebook, FREE group fitness classes, art projects, and more.
The Sioux City Public Library offers the Libby app for free e-reading opportunities, audiobooks and magazines.
Use travel resources available on the CDC website
Don’t congregate in large groups at the mall or in parks. Keep it to less than 10 people. Maintain a social distance of six feet.
Don’t hoard things (ie. toilet paper, cleaning products, etc.)
If you are feeling ill and have a fever, stay home and isolate until you are fever free for 72 hours, regardless of whether you’ve been tested for COVID-19 or not.
There are reports of phishing scams that attempt to steal personal information or to infect your devices with malware, and ads that peddle false information or scam products. The simple practice of navigating your email, texts and social media apps with caution is a great way to avoid becoming a victim. Avoid clicking links in emails and text messages from sources you don't know. The Federal Trade Commission is a trusted resource to learn more.
Volunteer Siouxland is asking all local nonprofits to complete this survey to identify volunteer opportunities.
HOW YOU CAN HELP- Food Bank of Siouxland volunteers - pack and distribute family food boxes - call 712-255-9741 to volunteer
**Please DO NOT hold food drives for Food Bank of Siouxland - if you want to help you can provide a monetary donation.
- Purchase baby items such as formula, diapers and wipes and donate them to agencies including: Community Action Agency, Crittenton Center, and Lutheran Services in Iowa.
- Donate cleaning supplies to nonprofits providing one-on-one services
- Donate blood by going to LifeServe Blood Center
- Donate to United Way of Siouxland as we forsee needs increasing as the situation progresses.
TRUSTED INFORMATION SOURCES
The state of Iowa now has a new website available for people to learn more about COVID-19 at www.coronavirus.iowa.gov. The site is intended to be a 1-stop shop for Iowans looking for any type of information regarding coronavirus mitigation and response efforts in our state.
Iowans may call 2-1-1 for information about COVID-19.
The Iowa Department of Public Health - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) page provides up-to-date information regarding this virus as well as guidance for businesses, schools, healthcare, long-term care, general public, and travelers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page has a summary of the virus, including symptoms, risk assessment, and preventative measures.
WHAT IS KNOWN
The virus causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified, and causes a respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold-like illness to severe respiratory disease.
Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications from COVID-19 are believed to be the very old, very young and those with other chronic or underlying medical conditions.
No vaccine or treatment is currently available for COVID-19, so prevention is very important.
If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, call ahead before visiting a medical facility so they can prepare. Do not go to an emergency room with mild symptoms. The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- shortness of breath
Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms and have:
- been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or
- recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread
The CDC has a fact sheet with more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19.
HOW THE VIRUS SPREADS
COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/inside of arm.
- Stay home if you are sick and do not go out in public until you are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer) or have signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. Tylenol, ibuprofen, cough suppressants), and at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
The Iowa Department of Health offers detailed cleaning and disinfection guidance.