(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the number of positive test results for COVID-19 are rising in the state due to expanded testing effort. The governor says more aggressive orders like “shelter-in-place” are not needed now. She announced Iowa now has 105 positive cases in 26 counties. Seven Iowans are being treated in hospitals. Reynolds says she wants to make sure Iowa isn’t being shut down when that isn’t needed.
(Washington, DC) -- The president says he believes things may turn around sooner than expected in lifting some of the restrictions designed to stem the advance of the coronavirus. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford, is watching how the restrictions work. Grassley says "we do it for the two or three weeks that people laid out and we do it for that time. And I don't think I want to be reassessing it in the middle." Grassley says he will keep an eye on the numbers to see what they show at the end of the recommended period. He says it if appears that we are overcoming the pandemic then that would be the time to make the decision if you want more interaction among people.
(Des Moines, IA) -- State officials are setting aside four-million dollars for a "Small Business Relief Program." It will provide grants of up to 25-thousand dollars for small businesses affected by closures related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says businesses with between two and 25 employees prior to March 17th are eligible to apply, starting today (Tuesday). Governor Kim Reynolds has taken other steps to extend some tax deadlines for small businesses. For example, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can delay paying first-quarter unemployment taxes to the state until July 1st.
(Des Moines, IA) -- The Iowa secretary of state is encouraging you to vote-by-mail in the June 2nd Primary and Paul Pate has extended the absentee voting period to a total of 40 days. Pate in a recorded message says, "The safety of voters takes precedence and by encouraging Iowans to vote absentee, we can reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19." Pate says they still plan on having the polls open on June 2nd for voters who prefer to cast ballots in person, but this effort will help reduce the risk of infecting others. Pate has added 11 days onto the vote-by-mail period for the June primary -- so it will now begin on April 23rd.