Ed. note: The CBJ is working hard to keep you up to date on the latest coronavirus news. We’re publishing a short roundup each day of notable cancellations, closures, changes and more. Send your tips and releases to news@corridorbusiness.com to help us stay up to date.

Thursday, 5/28/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 18,522 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 27, there have been 142,330 people tested in the state. There have been 500 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will extend its previously announced COVID-19 benefits through Aug. 31. The benefits include member cost-share waivers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, virtual visits, and support for business customers. The extension also includes payment parity for providers of virtual health care visits. Without the extension, Wellmark’s COVID-19 coverage benefits would have expired on June 16.

The extensions apply to all Wellmark fully-insured and Medicare supplement members. Wellmark is working with self-funded groups that want to extend similar benefits for their members. More information can be found at Wellmark.com/coronavirus.

Cedar Rapids’ downtown parking system will resume normal parking practices effective Monday, June 1, in anticipation of the reopening of many businesses following Gov. Kim Reynolds’ updated Proclamation of Disaster Relief. This will include monthly parking operations and meter parking enforcement in downtown Cedar Rapids. In cooperation with the City of Cedar Rapids and Park Cedar Rapids, the Downtown Parking Management Board enacted substantial changes to on-street enforcement practices to provide relief and assistance to downtown workers and businesses alike, beginning in March.

Wednesday, 5/27/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 18,262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 26, there have been 139,146 people tested in the state. There have been 487 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

The Coralville City Hall will reopen to the public on Monday, June 1. Hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Services via telephone, mail and www.coralville.org continue and residents are encouraged to use those when possible. Also beginning Monday, the City of Coralville will no longer accept utility bill payments or yard waste sticker payments over the telephone.

The Coralville Public Library, Coralville Recreation Center and Coralville Center for the Performing Arts remain closed to the public. Although the Coralville Recreation Center remains closed to general use, lap swim and fitness room use will resume by reservation only on June 8. 

The Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA Association has suspended the first four week sessions of the YMCA Camp Wapsie’s summer camp programming in June. YMCA leadership will continue to monitor and evaluate recommendations and conditions in order to plan to resume summer camp on July 5 for session five. Visit www.crmetroymca.org/camp-wapsie-covid-impacts for more details on program changes. 

Tuesday, 5/26/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 17,704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 25, there have been 135,297 people tested in the state. There have been 476 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

Friday, 5/22/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 16,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 21, there have been 119,469 people tested in the state. There have been 419 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

Staff members at the City of Marion have made the decision to keep the Marion Pool closed for the 2020 season. City staff will work to create other recreational opportunities for the community to enjoy this summer. A decision on the opening of the city’s splash pads is expected in the coming weeks.

ImOn Communications has expanded its free community Wi-Fi offerings to include the area around the parking lot on the east side of Jane Boyd Community House and Hidder Park on 14th Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids. ImOn’s free community Wi-Fi is also available at NewBo City Market, McGrath Amphitheatre, the Ladd Library on Williams Boulevard SW and the downtown area of Cedar Rapids, as well as at Guthridge, Tucker and Clark parks in Hiawatha and the Ped Mall in Iowa City. Users should be able to access these networks outdoors or from their vehicles to enable social distancing.

Beginning June 15, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library will reopen in stages. The first week of the NCSML’s reopening will be for members only. In addition to free admission, all members will receive a 25 percent discount coupon for the museum store. 

NCSML staff will monitor operations carefully the week of June 15 and if all goes well, the museum will open to the public on June 22. The museum will have a ticketed and timed entrance and detailed foot trafficking pathways for visitors. Capacity will be limited to 25% of normal operations. 

All NCSML staff, volunteers and visitors will be required to wear a mask while they are in the building. The NCSML will provide masks to anyone who does not have one. In addition, temperatures will be taken of all staff and volunteers every morning. All visitors will be asked a few questions related to travel and exposure to help contact tracing, should that be necessary. Plexiglass will be installed at the entrance desk and in the museum store. Chip card readers for credit cards will be used so that there will not be unnecessary credit card contact by the employees and/or volunteers. With cash transactions, the employees and/or volunteers will use gloves.

Building rental guidelines for meetings, weddings and other events are temporarily limited in the number of people the museum can safely serve. Contact Naomi Engelken, director of event services, for more information at nengelken@ncsml.org.

Thursday, 5/21/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 15,954 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 20, there have been 115,031 people tested in the state. There have been 403 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

The Metro Library Network, comprised of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion public libraries, will offer low or no-contact curbside hold pickup of library materials beginning Friday. All metro libraries are closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. All library programs and events have been cancelled through June 16. Due dates on library materials have been moved to June 16. To reach a network library, visit metrolibrarynetwork.org.

Wednesday, 5/20/20 

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 15,534 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 19, there have been 110,213 people tested in the state. There have been 383 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

The Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center‘s household hazardous materials facility at 3900 Hebl Ave. SW will open to residential customers on Thursday, May 21. Residents no longer need to make appointments to drop off materials. Please visit the city’s website for more information. Businesses must call for an appointment. The landfill office will remain closed to customers. The hazardous material Swap Shop will be closed until further notice.

The Iowa Department of Human Rights announces that the deadline for applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to June 30. Those struggling to pay their utility bills can apply through the state’s network of local community action agencies. For information on where to apply, click here.

Tuesday, 5/19/20

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 15,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 18, there have been 107,196 people tested in the state. There have been 367 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here.

The Coralville Public Library will remain closed through the end of May. The library will continue to provide services, including eMedia materials through OverDrive (Libby), RB Digital, TumbleBooks, and video streaming services through Kanopy. Access to online databases is also available. In addition, the library is continuing to provide contactless curbside pick-up, as well as offering mailing services to Coralville patrons. Reference services and virtual programming, including story times and book groups, are being offered. Visit www.coralvillepubliclibrary.org

Monday, 5/18/2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 14,955 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of May 17, there have been 103,148 people tested in the state. There have been 355 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found here. 

The Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA Association will reopen its doors for members today for limited hours at its Helen G. Nassif and Marion YMCA locations. The reopening will be a gradual and phased approach. Facilities will have increased sanitation stations, social distancing measures, and other business adaptations in order to provide a safe environment. 

Helen G. Nassif and Marion YMCAs will be open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. These two locations will be closed on Sundays for the remainder of phase one. YMCA at Mercy Health Plaza and the Y’s fitness center in Marion Independent High School are unable to operate during phase one due to building restrictions. In addition, child care services continue to operate at the Stoney Point YMCA, so this location will remain temporarily closed. There also will be limited amenities available during phase one: fitness centers, gyms, pickleball, and racquetball courts will be available in a limited capacity to members with social distancing measures in place. Locker rooms, child watch, group fitness classes and the pools are unavailable. More details on phase one can be found here.

The YMCA will also continue to offer its online fitness classes led by YMCA instructors. These classes are held daily via Zoom Meeting or Facebook Live on the association’s Facebook Page; @CRMetroYMCA, at various times throughout the day.  Each week’s online class schedule can be viewed here.  

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has extended the closure of Johnson County governmental buildings to the public, excluding the Johnson County Courthouse, through 7:30 a.m. June 8. Johnson County continues to provide county services. Many Johnson County services are available online, by phone, or through mail or email. Contact information for all county departments and offices are available on the Johnson County website at www.johnson-county.com.

The city of Cedar Rapids is extending building closures to the public through May 31. Closed facilities include City Hall, City Services Center, Cedar Rapids Water Administration, Central Fire Station, Animal Care and Control, Cedar Rapids Police Station and NW Recreation Center. Visit www.cedar-rapids.org for updated information on city schedule modifications and closures.

The city of Cedar Rapids will not open Bever, Bender, Jones, Ellis, Cherry Hill and Noelridge pools and aquatic centers this summer. Staff will continue to follow recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC to determine if Bender indoor pool could be opened for swim lessons late this summer. 

City facilities in Marion will remain closed to walk-in traffic through May 31. Facilities will then be open by appointment only through June 15. Closed facilities include: Marion City Hall, Marion Public Library, Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center, Thomas Park Administrative and Operations Facility, Marion Public Services Facility, Marion Fire Station No. 2 and Marion Police Headquarters. Residents and businesses may conduct city business online, by phone or via email. Find contact information and an overview of service implications by department here

Linn County is extending the closure of most county facilities to the general public through June 15. County staff and services remain available via phone, email and online. Contact information for all county departments is available at LinnCounty.org.