IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.
If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at Jessica@iowabio.org.
If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at www.iowabio.org/COVID19 and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.
The Legislative Services Agency published summaries of COVID-19 Unemployment programs for those who were laid off or those who were self-employed but were unable to continue working due to COVID-19, and the monies that have been paid to Iowans through these programs. The IWD has reported weekly Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit payments to self-employed, contractors, or gig economy employees beginning with the week ending April 18, 2020, totals approximately $150.5 million and a total of approximately $141.5 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits have been paid since May 27, 2020 to other workers. You can find these documents here and here.
Yesterday Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced the launch of an Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program. The statewide grant program will provide short-term relief to arts venues, cultural organizations and creative workers who have lost significant business or income due to the pandemic.
“Art, history, culture and creativity are vital to Iowa communities and further promote our overall quality of life,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Right now, many cultural venues are financially at risk and this program will provide new resources to help them adapt their operations, maintain jobs, and re-open safely as we return to a new normal.”
The state has allocated $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for the Iowa Arts & Cultural Recovery Program. The statewide program, an extension of the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, is offered through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and will be administered by two of its divisions, the Iowa Arts Council and the State Historical Society of Iowa.
The Iowa Arts & Culture Recovery Program will provide relief grants ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 for arts and cultural organizations struggling to make up for reduced admissions, ticket sales, and other revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also will provide relief grants for eligible Iowa artists who are experiencing financial hardship and can demonstrate lost revenue and/or increased expenditures due to the ongoing public health emergency.
“We are grateful to Governor Reynolds for recognizing and valuing the importance of arts and culture by preserving jobs and supporting operations at destinations across the state,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Even though the arts and cultural sector has served Iowans in innovative new ways this year – through virtual learning, outdoor performances and online concerts – these new grants are necessary to sustain Iowa’s museums, performing arts theaters, music venues, and an entire industry that is critical to Iowa’s long-term goals of workforce development, creative placemaking and tourism.”
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs opens the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund to new applications on Dec. 1. Nonprofit cultural organizations, eligible music venues and individual artists may apply to the program through Dec. 11.
Grant funds may be used to offset lost revenue from closures, canceled events or business interruptions and applied to the costs of facilities, payroll and other eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, 2020. Grant funds also may be used for expenses associated with reopening, adopting COVID-19 cleaning and safety measures, or adapting programs to virtual formats.
Grant applications and a full list of eligibility requirements can be found online at iowaculture.gov. Application questions should be directed to Veronica O’Hern, the Iowa Arts Council’s grant services and artist program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa’s nonprofit arts and culture industry has lost hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue since the pandemic began, according to an American for the Arts survey of more than 350 Iowa arts and cultural organizations.
In a typical year, Iowa’s creative sector accounts for 2.3 percent of the state’s economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Iowa’s arts, culture, history and creative industries, including film and media, together employ more than 42,000 Iowans working in more than 5,000 nonprofit and for-profit businesses.
IowaBio Member Highlight
With the coronavirus pandemic raging across the globe, the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University is providing educational guides and direct support for their clients affected by COVID-19. Their goal is to provide business resources and whatever information is necessary to help Iowa companies plan, prepare, protect, and recover their operations.
If your business is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIRAS can provide no-cost assistance to help you understand your next steps. CIRAS has an emergency response team in place to help guide you through the recovery process. Send an email to email@example.com and we'll be in touch within 24 hours. CIRAS is also continuing to add information to their COVID-19 Webinar Library as a resource to businesses.
Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, 236,796 Iowans have tested positive, up 2,931 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 1,229,577 tested. 70 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 2,519 deaths. Now 147,153 Iowans have recovered. The overall positivity rate is 19.3% and the total 14 day rolling average positivity rate is 16.8%. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here. There are currently 1,162 hospitalized patients.
School district statistics including positivity rates by county can be found here. According to guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Education, schools may petition to go to hybrid or online learning with less than 50 percent in-person instruction when the per county percentage positivity rates are above 15 percent in a county on average over the past 14 days (rolling average) AND 10% absenteeism among students is expected for in-person learning. School district waiver requests and whether they are granted or denied are listed here.
Currently 80 (of 99) counties are above a 15 percent positivity rate over the past 14 days. Click here to search county data for today.
Total Cases 13,626,022
Total Deaths 269,763
Total Cases 64,648,033
Total Deaths 1,495,919