COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update
(Mason City) – Monday, April 13th, 2020
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID-19 in Iowa provided by IDPH can be found at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus. For more information about COVID-19, please visit CG Public Health’s website at cghealth.com. Follow CG Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@CGPublicHealth).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
The COVID-19 has recently received calls from employees who have recently been laid off. We would like to share some information from Iowa Workforce Development regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA is a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that provides temporary income to eligible individuals who became unemployed as a result of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and are either self-employed, do not have sufficient work history to be eligible for a claim, or have exhausted other forms of unemployment insurance benefits. It is funded by the federal government, not by state unemployment taxes paid by employers. If you are not working as a result of COVID-19, you must file an unemployment insurance claim application online in order to receive any form of unemployment insurance. Please visit https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/pua-information for more details on PUA such as eligibility requirements and how to file a claim. Additionally, tune in to the weekly press conference on Wednesday, April 15th at 3:30 pm on the City of Mason City’s Facebook Page to hear from Michael Witt from Iowa Workforce Development discuss unemployment at length.
How to Cope with Anxiety about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused fear and anxiety in many individuals across the country, rightfully so. Whether you recently got laid off, or worried about your vulnerable family members, we understand many of north Iowans are stressed and overwhelmed. We have invited Dr. Brent Seaton, a clinical psychologist at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, to the weekly press conference to share coping strategies for anxiety and offer ways ask for help if you need someone to talk to. If you have specific questions regarding mental health, please direct message them to CG Public Health’s Facebook page. If you or a loved one are facing a mental health concern, you’re not alone. That is why the Iowa Department of Public Health has created YourLifeIowa.org so Iowans can chat live, text or call to get reliable information and treatment options, and find nearby help. Go to https://yourlifeiowa.org/mental-health to get more information or even live chat with someone. You can also call or text (855) 895-8398 any time for support or assistance. To view the Iowa department of Public Health’s guidance for coping as well, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/7/How%20to%20Cope%20with%20Anxiety%20about%20Novel%20Coronavirus_1.pdf .
CG Public Health Expanding Data Sharing with Public
Starting Monday, April 13th, CG Public Health will post local COVID-19 testing data and identified case counts on their website (www.cghealth.com). Information can be found under the Coronavirus page titled Situation Update and will be updated with the previous day’s data daily by 11 AM. Please note specific case information will not be shared to protect individual health information. Below is a description of the data:
Persons tested are not required to live in Cerro Gordo County. Testing numbers include residents tested from surrounding counties.
The testing site at the North Iowa Events Center is not open on the weekend; therefore, daily testing numbers will decrease dramatically on Saturdays and Sundays.
Probable cases are people in close contact with a lab confirmed case while contagious that developed similar symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but were not tested.