UPDATE: State Rep. Thomas Gerhold

Over recent weeks, there have been countless people on internet social sites, the Iowa Board of Medicine, mayors, and even people in the media wanting Governor Kim Reynolds to issue a “Shelter in Place” (SIP) order statewide.

Governor Reynolds is doing the best job possible under these current conditions when given the up-to-the-minute status of the Covid-19 virus cases. This pandemic is new to basically everyone in the United States and the world. The Governor, Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the state epidemiologist for are doing the best possible with this pandemic.

With the pandemic still occurring and people being laid off of work, I’ve included information for cities, dates, and times of food pantries in Benton and Iowa Counties. The HACAP Food Reservoir Development Manager, Allyn Glenn-Angell, reports there is a 37% increase in the number of people attending in Marengo in March. Belle Plaine saw an increase of about 30 households from February to March.

Benton County Food Access – HACAP

The Iowa Department of Transportation has information on their website for Rest Areas, providing meals to commercial truck drivers, driver’s license service centers, CDL holders, and much more. Please go to https://iowadot.gov/covid-19/Public-Response for these and all sorts of other info.

For those who are having legal issues due to COVID-19, there is a Legal Information Hotline that Iowa Legal Aid developed in partnership with the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Volunteer Lawyer Project.

The Iowa COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline is 1 (800) 332-0419 and a free service available to Iowans who are experiencing legal issues due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Iowans experiencing any type of legal problem due to this crisis, such as facing eviction, being denied unemployment benefits, experiencing employment issues, or being a victim of identity theft, can leave a message at the 800 number and Iowa Legal Aid staff will call them back to screen them for eligibility.  Those who are eligible for Iowa Legal Aid’s free legal services will be connected with one of their attorneys; those who are not eligible for services will be connected with volunteer attorneys through the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Bar Association.

In phone conferences I was a part of with CEOs of this area’s health care providers, there have been some people who were in immediate need of health care and didn’t see a physician as soon as they should have. A couple people were having a heart attack and delayed getting medical treatment. Please, please, please, if you think there is something wrong, do not hesitate to get medical attention!!!

For those parents who have school-age children at home, please encourage and help them with their school work. Even though Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Dept. of Education declared students will not be able to go back to school this spring, I strongly urge you to help and encourage the students to keep working at it, they won’t regret it!

Please abide by the rules and recommendations set by the state officials for this pandemic, so we can get past it and begin returning to work. The sooner we get over this with the good Lord’s help, we can be an excellent example for the rest of the United States! We’re all in this together, so please be safe out there!

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