(Mason City) – Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
Contact: Emily Dunbar, Public Information Officer, (641) 421-9345
COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa, including county-level data, provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health can be found at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/#CurrentStatus.
Governor Reynolds Opens Additional Businesses
Today at the Governor’s press conference, she announced that starting this Friday, May 22, all movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums and wedding reception venues will be allowed to reopen with suggested public health measures in place. Pools may reopen for swimming laps and lessons.
Bars with indoor and outdoor seating are also allowed to reopen at 50% capacity starting next Thursday, May 28. Reynolds says bars and other establishments that serve alcohol will have to follow the same public health measures as restaurants.
Another announcement was made regarding summer athletics. Beginning June 1, schools can resume school-sponsored activities and learning, this can include baseball and softball. Gov. Reynolds mentioned she will provide additional details about school openings during Thursday’s news conference.
The Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Kayla Lyon, announced the reopening of all restrooms, showers, and cabins in Iowa State Parks. Campgrounds will be open to all campers, but youth campgrounds will remain closed along with lodges, playgrounds, and visitor centers. She encouraged everyone to safely visit a park near you this weekend.
For a copy of the most recent Gov. proclamation, visit https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/proclamations.
Battling Fatigue During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It has been roughly two months since we have been dealing with the ongoing difficulties of a global pandemic. Many of us are experiencing fatigue and increasing lack of motivation to comply when it comes to COVID-19. This year, events and holidays look a lot different, and we understand people wish life could go back to the way it used to be. Below are some tips for those battling fatigue during this pandemic:
The first tip is to take care of your physical and mental health. It may seem redundant, but getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly can truly help refresh your mindset. Dig deep to why you are feeling this way and determine what you can do to improve your mental health. If you are feeling socially disconnected, get a small group together, 10 or fewer people, and go kayaking together, or have a small grill out in your backyard with hand sanitizer available for use and practice social distancing.
The second tip is to reframe risks and benefits. It can be useful to think about how your behavior directly affects your chances of getting sick, and thus your chances of spreading the virus to people around you. We all have the responsibility of protecting those most at risk for contracting the virus. As we have said before, you control your level of risk and exposure. How can you minimize your risk, and do things that bring you joy? Find a good balance. Practicing good hygiene like washing your hands often, covering your cough or sneezes with your elbow, and not touching your face are great ways to protect yourself and others. Consider wearing a mask in public and stay at least 6 feet away from others not in your household to prevent transmission of the virus.
The last tip is to rebuild your routine. COVID-19 has most likely disrupted your regular daily routine—but you can still make time for things you valued before the pandemic, like exercise and socializing. Creating a new normal, to the extent possible, can be stabilizing.
As we adjust to our “new normal”, it is important to remember to follow the social distancing guidelines and practice good hygiene this holiday weekend, however you choose to observe Memorial Day weekend.
North Iowa Band Festival Spirit Week Activities for All to Enjoy
Despite the heartbreaking cancellation of the 2020 North Iowa Band Festival, the community can enjoy “spirit week” activities – from a distance. Daily activities will honor Mason City’s rich musical heritage and incorporate a new version of traditional Band Festival entertainment.
The band Brad+Kate, who were scheduled to perform at this year’s Festival, will hold a virtual concert on Facebook Live this Wednesday, May 20, at 7 pm. This musical duo believes that live music is unlike anything else and cannot wait to share a special performance for the community.
A “Big REVERSE Parade” is scheduled from 2-4 pm on Thursday in front of the Commerce Center (9 N Federal Avenue.) This event will replace the traditional Saturday morning parade. Festival staff will distribute pre-bagged candy and commemorative buttons to cars traveling NORTH in front of the building. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and drive slowly on North Federal Avenue, entering from West State Street. Participants must remain in their vehicle, and staff will be wearing masks and gloves.
On Friday, May 22 local favorites Betty and the Gents will perform at 8:15 pm Live on Facebook. A special “Music Man” tribute set is planned that promises to “knock your socks off.” This group is a frequent Festival performer and will share music to bring the community together, especially during a time like this.
The Festival committee thanks Drum Major Sponsors First Citizens Bank, Hanson Foundation, Principal Foundation, and Union Pacific Foundation, along with many generous contributors, volunteers, and supporters, for their continued support. More information about the North Iowa Band Festival can be found at nibandfest.com.