Hiawatha city officials continue to closely follow the latest developments on the coronavirus (COVID-19) condition to ensure the health and safety of our community and to help ensure the actions we are taking are in line with the latest World Health Organization, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and guidance. Linn County Public Health (LCPH), is working closely with IDPH, the CDC, as well as local public and private partners to plan for prevention and response to the expanding global outbreak of COVID-19.
Mayor Bennett and all City Officials encourage residents to take all necessary precautions to stay healthy in efforts to assist our local healthcare providers as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by doing our part to reduce its spread. Mayor Bennett urges our residents to adhere to Governor’s Reynolds’ Proclamation of Disaster Emergency including:
- Limiting any gatherings to groups of ten (10) or less, as well as her guidance for considering 14-days of self-isolation for those that have recently traveled out-of-state for business or spring break;
- Awareness of social distancing practices and maintaining separation of six (6) feet or more;
- Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 20-seconds and strictly following disinfecting routines in homes and businesses;
- Use of available telemedicine options, including calling your physician should you have a non-emergent flu or upper respiratory symptoms prior to accessing services at a hospital;
- Strictly limit trips outside of the home to the most essential needs;
City of Hiawatha will continue to follow the recommendation of our Public Health sources and that of Governor Reynolds and at this time, city offices are closed and open for essential appointments only. The City has canceled non-essential meetings and activities in compliance with the new recommendations from IDPH to limit such gatherings. Meetings for the City of Hiawatha Council will continue as scheduled at this time electronically following the open meetings rules. Information posted on our media resources, website and social media; meeting agendas will include essential items only.
In addition, enhanced cleaning measures are in place in all City facilities, which includes repeated cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. As of March 23, at the discretion of the department/city, non-essential employees will be allowed to work from home. OSHA recommends that employers implement policies, such as telecommuting designed to limit contact between individuals to mitigate spread. Appropriately, administrative leave will be allowed thru April 12, 2020 as per council resolution #20-071. Upon April 12, the City Administrator will reassess the situation to determine if an extension is needed and make recommendation to the City Council.
City of Hiawatha offers many of its services online and strongly encourages residents to use online services when possible all year long. Utility bills and permits can be paid online.
Links to these services such as building permits, are available on our City’s website Hiawatha-iowa.com. If you need assistance with these services, please contact us with questions. Contact information for all city departments is available at hiawatha-iowa.com or by calling 319-393-1515 ext. 523.
The City of Hiawatha has updated its human resources policies and a temporary relaxation of labor contract provisions to address extended sick leave and paid time off for employees who may be impacted by COVID-19. The City is also educating employees on workplace safety and at-home measures including social distancing information and basic hygiene tips.
These efforts are focused on both containing the spread of the virus and mitigating its potential impact to protect the public’s health in Linn County.
Everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat through implementing these prevention strategies:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
- Practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC
- Follow the special guidance for those with underlying conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes.
Representatives from the City of Hiawatha, Linn County Public Health, Linn County Emergency Management Agency, Linn County school districts, area municipalities, and other key stakeholders continue to meet daily to receive briefings and updates to address the COVID-19 situation and provide information to the public.
As information about COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is important to stay informed and get information from trusted sources. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit these websites:
Please visit the City of Hiawatha website hiawatha-iowa.com for local updates and related information.
A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.