Parks and Community Room remain closed for the month of April

Parks and Community Room remain closed for the month of April

Based on conversations with state and local public health officials and out of an abundance of caution related to the current COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor Mike Bawden has extended the shut down of the city’s community room at City Hall and closed Riverdale’s parks to general public access for the month of April.

“I hate to say it, but it looks like things will be getting worse before they get better and we need to do what we can to encourage people to keep their distance and stay home for the next 4-8 weeks,” he said. Citing reports that people can unintentionally spread COVID-19 while being asymptomatic (not showing any signs of illness) for up to 5 days, the mayor felt it was appropriate to take these measures as part of the over-all “social distancing” policy encouraged by the CDC.

In addition to closing the parks and continuing the suspension of activities in the community room, the mayor also ordered all public meetings scheduled for April to be conducted online via the City’s GoToMeeting account. There are two regular meetings of the City Council on the schedule (April 14 and April 28) and a town hall meeting (April 26) for the month.

“We need to do what we can to encourage people to stay inside, stay safe and stay healthy,” said the mayor.

Bulky waste and yard waste pickups suspended due to COVID-19

Bulky waste and yard waste pickups suspended due to COVID-19

The City was notified by Republic Services that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were changing the nature of the services they were providing to cities (Riverdale among them) for the foreseeable future.

Specifically, Republic explained they will continue to collect waste from households and businesses, but that they would suspend bulky waste and yard waste pick-ups.

According to Matt Pivit (the Municipal Services Manager from Republic), if your waste material can not fit in your garbage cart, they will not take it. This is to assure that workers are not touching waste. Carts (for both garbage and recycling) are picked up using a robotic arm on the side of the truck collecting material.

Services are expected to resume once the COVID-19 situation is in-hand.

What Will We Do?

Believe it or not, we were working on this problem before the Friday night storm that filled many Riverdale basements with rainwater. What we initially thought would be just a yard waste problem is now something much more substantial and we’re taking this matter very seriously.

Yard Waste. We will be confirming with the Compost Facility that we can bring yard waste to the facility for the foreseeable future. I will also be discussing this with Republic to see if we can reduce the fees we pay them to cover the cost of dropping material off for composting. Assuming this can all be worked out in an agreeable manner, we will advise residents on how we can all work together to dispose of our yard waste during the spring using volunteers, city vehicles and proper social distancing.

For seniors unable to haul/move bags of yard waste, please be patient. Let us know and we’ll work on a solution. 

Bulky Waste. We will be contacting Republic on Monday to see if we can line up two roll-off dumpsters for residents who have bulky waste that they need to remove from their home immediately. This means ruined household items as a result of Friday’s storms. It’s important folks can get this material out of their houses and let their basements dry out so mold doesn’t develop.

If there’s room left in the dumpsters, then we’ll keep them around for another week so people can toss in their other bulky waste. When the dumpsters are full, we’ll have Republic haul them away and take the material to the landfill.

Community Clean-Up. So what are we going to do about our traditional “Community Clean-Up”? It’s likely we’ll still have some kind of clean-up activity later on this year – but it will probably be more focused on picking up litter and roadside waste moreso than household, bulky waste. The City will contact the Waste Commission of Scott County to see if there’s a way we can get plenty of iLiveHere garbage bags, tongs and other tools for households who want to get outside and do something to make Riverdale look even better than usual.

Let us know if you’ve got the “anti-litter” bug and we’ll help get you equipped!

Mental health services are just a phone call away.

Mental health services are just a phone call away.

With the constant crush of news about pandemic, floods, tornados, recession and more, it’s easy to see how people can feel overwhelmed. Anxiety and associated problems can lead to mental health issues that, if not handled directly and discreetly, could spin out of control.

In Scott County, we’re fortunate to be part of the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region. They operate a toll-free, crisis “hot line” which provides trained, compassionate telephone counseling, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That phone number is: 844-430-0375.

And if you’re just in need of someone to talk to, they also operate a non-crisis “warm line” which provides confidential listening for anyone between the hours of 5pm and 10pm daily. That phone number is: 844-775-9276.

What Constitutes a Crisis?

Wondering if your crisis is bad enough to warrant a call? EIMHDS provides some guidelines for you to consider. A crisis can result from any major loss – the death of a loved one, a divorce, depression or anxiety. Symptoms of a crisis include:

•  Eating or sleeping too much or too little.
•   Fighting with family and friends.
•  Thinking of hurting or harming yourself or someone else.

For more on mental health services accessible by contacting the Scott County Community Services Department:

Lori Elam
Director
Community Services
Scott County Administrative Center
600 W. 4th St.
Davenport, IA 52801-1030
phone: 563-326-8723
fax: 563-326-8730
email: commserve@scottcountyiowa.com

April egg hunt postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

April egg hunt postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

At it’s last meeting (held on March 24), the Riverdale City Council passed a resolution authorizing Council Member Kelly Krell to re-schedule the annual egg hunt, planned for April 4, to a later date. This decision did not come as a surprise.

The resolution allows Council Member Krell to cancel existing contracts for the April 4 event and re-negotiate agreements with vendors for other events currently on the Community Engagement calendar for remainder of the calendar year. Whether the egg hunt activity becomes part of another event (like the Ice Cream Social scheduled for June) or remains a stand-alone activity to be held later this year, remains to be seen.

Please keep an eye on the City’s website and social media for more updates.

Governor Reynolds declares public health disaster. More closures result.

Governor Reynolds declares public health disaster. More closures result.

from the office of the Governor of the State of Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency activating the public health response and recovery aspects of the State Disaster Emergency Plan effective at noon today. 

It takes significant steps to require social distancing and limit community spread of the virus by implementing temporary measures including moving restaurants to drive-through, carry-out, and delivery only and closures of certain entities such as bars and recreational facilities. The proclamation also allows state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, and supports the critical work of public health. 

“These are unprecedented times and the state of Iowa will do whatever is necessary to address this public health disaster. I have authorized all available state resources, supplies, equipment and materials to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The actions taken today are necessary to protect the health and safety of all Iowans and are critical to mitigating the spread of the virus.”

Read the full text of the proclamation below:

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has reported an outbreak of thousands of cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in multiple countries, causing illness and deaths; and

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a national public health emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency was issued to coordinate the State of Iowa’s response to this outbreak and such disaster continues to exist; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency; and

WHEREAS, multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Public Health has determined that community spread of COVID-19 is occurring within our state; and

WHEREAS, reports forwarded by local public health officials and state public health officials indicate that local resources and capacities are being exhausted and state assistance and resources are necessary to respond to and recover from the effects of this public health disaster; and

WHEREAS, local jurisdictions may not have sufficient personnel and other resources to effectively conduct epidemiologic investigations of infectious disease outbreaks, provide medical care, and respond to health threats; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 can spread person-to-person and poses a possibility of causing severe illness in certain populations and disability and/or death to certain Iowans.  Likewise, reports forwarded by federal, state, and local officials indicate that state assistance is needed to manage and contain this outbreak; and

WHEREAS, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 may be substantially reduced by separating and restricting the movement of persons known or suspected to have the disease, or who have been exposed to those known or suspected to have the disease; and 

WHEREAS, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 may be substantially reduced by community containment strategies that may include temporarily closing schools in affected communities and other public venues; and

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provision of the Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Code requiring a certificate of need prior to an institutional health facility operating additional bed capacity will also prevent or hinder efforts to contain this public health disaster.

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa law which establish preconditions or which would otherwise limit or restrict the provision of telehealth or telemedicine services and those which require face-to-face interactions with health care providers and requirements for residential and outpatient treatment and face-to-face visitations, would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state. 

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa law which prohibit the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, nursing, respiratory care, and practice as a physician assistant, with an inactive or lapsed license would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the provisions of Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 256.16(1)(a)(2)(d) and (m) and Iowa Admin. Code rules 281-77.10 (9), 281-79.14(5), and 281-79.14(7) that require a minimum number of hours of field experience in a practitioner preparation program provided by a higher education institution would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code §§ 321.174A, 321.196, 321.39, 321.46, 321.25 regarding driver’s license, title, and vehicle registration requirements would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster in all counties of our state.

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the permit and fee requirements of Iowa Code § 321E.29 and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 761-511 allowing oversize and overweight divisible loads under certain circumstances will prevent or hinder efforts to cope with this disaster in all counties of our state.

WHEREAS, strict compliance with the requirements of Iowa Code § 455C.3 (1) and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 567-107 that such dealers must accept empty beverage containers on which an Iowa deposit was made will prevent or hinder efforts to cope with this disaster in all counties of our state.

NOW THEREFORE, I, KIMBERLY K. REYNOLDS, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution, Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(1), 135.140(6), and 135.144 do hereby proclaim a STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY throughout the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

SECTION ONE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1) and (10), I hereby activate the public health response and recovery aspects of the state disaster emergency plan applicable to this public health disaster and authorize the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are reasonably necessary pursuant to those plans to assist those citizens located in the counties subject to this proclamation. 

SECTION TWO.  I hereby direct the Iowa Department of Public Health, in conjunction with whatever further direction I provide, to take those reasonable and necessary actions authorized by Iowa Code § 135.144 to address this public health disaster, including but not limited to mobilizing as many public health response teams as are necessary to supplement and support disrupted or overburdened local medical and public health personnel, hospitals, and resources, as allowed by Iowa Code § 135.143 and 641 Iowa Admin. Code 113.2 (1), with the understanding that the registered members of those public health response teams providing assistance under this authority shall receive the protections and benefits of state employees as allowed by law.   

SECTION THREE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144 (3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I hereby order that effective Noon today, March 17, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020:

A.   Restaurants and Bars: All Restaurants and Bars are hereby closed to the general public except that to the extent permitted by applicable law, and in accordance with any recommendations of the Iowa Department of Public Health, food and beverages may be sold if such food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as on a carry-out or drive-through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.

B. Fitness Center: All fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers are hereby closed.

C.   Theaters: All theaters or other performance venues at which live performances or or motion pictures are shown are hereby closed.

D.   Casinos and Gaming Facilities: All casinos and other facilities conducting pari-mutuel wagering or gaming operations are hereby closed.

E. Mass Gathering: Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.

F. Senior Citizen Centers and Adult Daycare Facilities:  All facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers are hereby closed.

SECTION FOUR.  I hereby direct all state agencies to coordinate expeditiously in developing plans to mitigate the economic effects of the closings necessitated by this disaster, including potential financial support, regulatory relief, and other executive actions.

SECTION FIVE.  As required by Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1), (10) and 42 U.S.C. § 5170 in cases of Presidential Disaster Declarations, this Proclamation of Disaster Emergency continues to activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan and those additional response plans applicable to the counties affected by this disaster and authorizes the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are reasonably necessary to assist those citizens located in the disaster affected counties.

SECTION SIX.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I continue to temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of 11 Iowa Admin. Code § 53.11 (3) prohibiting pay to those State of Iowa employees for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek while present in the State’s Emergency Operations Center or otherwise engaged in assigned disaster response missions or other activities. 

SECTION SEVEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (8) and (10), I continue to order all state agencies to utilize such personnel, equipment, and facilities as necessary to assist the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in performing any and all activities necessary to prevent, contain, and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus. 

SECTION EIGHT.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code §§ 135.61 through 135.73 requiring an institutional health facility to obtain a certificate of need prior to operating additional bed capacity. Suspension of these provisions is limited to the duration of this proclamation and is further limited to the provision of medical assistance and treatment of victims of this public health emergency. 

SECTION NINE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 147.137 and Iowa Admin. Code rule 653-13.11, rule 641-155.2, and other implementing administrative rules establishing preconditions, limitations, or restrictions on the provision of telehealth or telemedicine services, and I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Admin. Code rules 641-155.21(19) and 155.23(4) and other administrative rules which require face-to-face interactions with health care providers and impose requirements for residential and outpatient substance use disorder treatment and for face-to-face visitations.

SECTION TEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 147.10 and Iowa Admin. Code rules 653-9.13(6) and 9.14, rules 655-3.7(5), rules 645-261.8, and rules 645-326.9(8), and all other implementing administrative rules which prohibit the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, nursing, respiratory care, and practice as a physician assistant, by a licensee whose license is inactive or lapsed.  Suspension of these provisions is limited to licenses which have lapsed or expired within the five (5) years prior to this Proclamation and is further limited to the provision of medical and nursing care and treatment of victims of this public health disaster emergency and solely for the duration of this Proclamation.

SECTION ELEVEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 256.16(1)(a)(2)(d) and (m) and Iowa Admin. Code rules 281-77.10 (9), 281-79.14(5), and 281-79.14(7), to the extent that they require a minimum number of hours of field experience if the higher education institution providing practitioner preparation program determines that the student has completed sufficient field experience to determine that the student should be recommended for licensure. 

SECTION TWELVE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.196 prescribing that a driver’s license issued to a person age seventy-two or older expires after two years.  Suspension of this provision is limited to driver’s licenses which have expired within the 60 days prior to this Proclamation or during the duration of this Proclamation or any subsequent extension of this proclamation. And upon the expiration of the terms of this Proclamation or any subsequent extension of this proclamation, the statutory sixty-day period for renewing shall resume. This suspension shall not apply if the person is not eligible for a license due to the person’s license being suspended, revoked, denied or barred for any reason or if the person is physically or mentally incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. 

SECTION THIRTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.174A prescribing that a person shall not operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state with an expired driver’s license as applied to a person whose driver’s license is expired. Suspension of this provision is limited to driver’s licenses which have expired within the 60 days prior to this Proclamation or during the duration of this Proclamation or any subsequent extension of this proclamation. And upon the expiration of the terms of this Proclamation or any subsequent extension of this proclamation, the statutory sixty-day period for renewing shall resume.

SECTION FOURTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.39 prescribing expiration dates for vehicle registration, registration cards, and registration plates as applied to a person whose vehicle registration, registration card, or registration plate is expired.  Suspension of this provision is limited to vehicle registration, registration cards, and registration plates which have expired within the 60 days prior to this Proclamation or during the duration of this Proclamation or any subsequent extension of this proclamation.

SECTION FIFTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.46 prescribing a transferee of a new motor vehicle shall apply for a new registration and certificate of title within 30 days of the purchase.

SECTION SIXTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.25 prescribing a vehicle may be operated upon the highways of this state without registration plates for a period of 45 days after the date of delivery of the vehicle to the purchaser from a dealer.

SECTION SEVENTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code §29C.6 (6), I continue to temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code §§ 321.463 (6) (a) and (b) and 321E.29 and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 761-511, to the extent that those provisions restrict the movement of oversize and overweight loads of food, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods, and require a permit to transport such loads.

A. Suspension of these provisions applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code §321.463 (6) (b), by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

B. This action is intended to allow vehicles transporting food, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation.

C. The Iowa Department of Transportation is hereby directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of trucks involved in transporting food and other household goods.

SECTION EIGHTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I continue to temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 455C.3 (1) and Iowa Admin. Code chapter 567-107, to the extent that those provisions require a dealer to accept an empty beverage container on which an Iowa deposit was made. This action is intended to allow retailers who engage in the sale of liquor, beer, wine, carbonated beverages, and other beverages on which an Iowa beverage container deposit is made to stop accepting empty beverage containers for the duration of this disaster emergency.

SECTION NINETEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6) and 49 CFR § 390.23, I continue to temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.449 pertaining to hours of service of motor carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles, while transporting vaccines, antivirals, prescription drugs, protective equipment, and other necessary medical assets, subject to the following condition:

A.   Nothing contained in this Proclamation shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements set out in 49 CFR Part 382, the commercial drivers’ license requirements set out in 49 CFR Part 383, the financial responsibility requirements set out in 49 CFR Part 387, or any other portion of the Code of Federal Regulations not specifically identified in this Proclamation.

B. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this agreement shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle.  A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to service.

 C. Upon the request of a driver, a commercial motor carrier operating under this proclamation must give the driver at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off when the driver has been on duty for more than seventy (70) hours during any eight (8) consecutive days.

D.   Motor carriers that have an out-of-service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulations that this proclamation provides under title 49 CFR § 390.23.

E. Upon the expiration of this Proclamation, or when a driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibility to transport necessary medical assets under the conditions of this Proclamation, a driver who has had at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off duty shall be permitted to start the driver’s on-duty status hours with the 60/70 hour clock at zero.

F. This portion of this Proclamation of Disaster Emergency applies only to hours of service of motor carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles while actively transporting medical assets related to the COVID-19 event.

SECTION TWENTY.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I continue to temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 8A, Iowa Code § 313.10, 11 Iowa Admin. Code Chapters 117 and 118, and 641 Iowa Admin. Code Chapter 176, requiring the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state agencies involved in the response to this disaster emergency to procure goods and services through a competitive selection process. Suspension of these provisions is limited to the duration of this proclamation and is further limited to procurements which are necessary to prevent, contain, or mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus. 

SECTION TWENTY-ONE.  The Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Iowa Department of Transportation and other participating state agencies are hereby directed to monitor the operation and implementation of this proclamation to assure the public’s health and safety.

SECTION TWENTY-TWO.  Nothing contained in this declaration shall be construed as an exemption from any other portion of the Iowa Code or Iowa Administrative Code not specifically identified in this proclamation.

SECTION TWENTY-THREE.  This state of disaster emergency shall be effective immediately on March 16, 2020 shall continue for thirty (30) days, and shall expire on April 16, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1).

Coronavirus Update: Shutdowns of note for Riverdale residents

Coronavirus Update: Shutdowns of note for Riverdale residents

No coronavirus cases in the Quad Cities yet, but communities are taking extra precautions to enforce “social distancing” recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control to reduce the chance of infection. Here’s a rundown of a recent teleconference of elected officials and city staff with representatives of the Scott County and Rock Island County Emergency Management Authorities:

Testing has begun; no cases so far

In a widely shared graphic, a tan curve represents a scenario without social distancing measures and where the U.S. hospital system becomes inundated with coronavirus patients.

Although testing for COVID-19 has begun, no confirmed cases of coronavirus have been found in the Quad Cities … yet. According to representatives from both the Scott County and Rock Island County Health Departments, it’s merely a matter of “when” not “if” the area will begin dealing with the ailment. By working to “flatten the curve” through improved hygiene and social distancing – steps that will slow the spread of the inevitable infection – the hope is local healthcare providers will be able to handle the influx of cases and ensure quality care for everyone who needs it.

More than forty local people have been tested so far and many more tests are expected in the near future as testing bandwidth within the US expands and tests become more available. At the moment, it is not possible for anyone who wants a test to get a test – the focus right now remains on those individuals at greatest risk and who present the following symptoms:

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Bettendorf and Davenport take steps to limit crowds at public facilities

The cities of Bettendorf and Davenport will, in all likelihood, be taking the following steps to limit the potential spread of the virus by taking the following steps:

The Bettendorf and Davenport libraries will be closing at the end of business today and remain shuttered for the foreseeable future.

Davenport is considering holding City Council Meetings via teleconference.

Bettendorf’s Family Museum will close and remain close for the foreseeable future.

Davenport and Bettendorf parks programs will be curtailed to restrict crowd sizes, although the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center will remain open – only 50 people at a time will be allowed to be in the LFC at any one time.

Davenport is considering options for operating public transit and making sure people sit at least six feet apart from one another while they ride the bus.

In related news, the Scott County Family Y has announced it will keep its facilities open but classes and other programs will be suspended through the end of the month.

We will continue to post updates on what the community is doing to address the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please check our website and the Riverdale Residents page on Facebook frequently for the latest news.

How do we handle a global pandemic?

How do we handle a global pandemic?

To many people, it may seem like the media frenzy surrounding the outbreak of Coronavirus is overblown and causing undue panic. And while there is a greater sense of urgency about this outbreak of a new virus, I’d like to share with you why I think it’s valid for us all to be concerned and take some rather simple actions now that could keep things from spiraling out of control.

What’s all the fuss?

COVID-19 (known commonly as the coronavirus) is more than just “a bad flu” – in fact, with a mortality rate of 1-2% of those infected, COVID-19 has the potential of killing 10x to 20x the rate of the regular flu. And because no one has ever had this virus before, no one is yet immune to the disease.

The World Health Organization projects that 40-70% of the world’s population will be infected with COVID-19 by the time a vaccine is finally developed. That’s a pretty staggering statistic – and it might lead some people to think there’s nothing that can be done. That’s where panic can seize hold and exaggerate the problems we’re already facing in terms of community health and economic vitality.

You see, there are things we can do to slow the spread of the disease. While we may end up with half of the people on the planet becoming infected, we’ll be able to take care of those most significantly afflicted if we succeed in “flattening the curve” of infections. That means slowing the spread of the disease enough to avoid overloading our hospitals so there are enough ICU beds and ventilators to go around.

What can we do about it?

Whether you believe the scientist and health officials’ warnings or you believe it’s all just media hype – taking the following steps will help protect the most vulnerable ones in our society:

• Because of delays in the availability of testing, we assume that the virus is already here. Do not attend social gatherings or events if you cannot maintain a 6-foot space between you and others. Businesses, organizations and families should cancel or postpone social gatherings/community events of 250 people or more now. This is to prevent transmission from person-to-person, it applies to all of us and all kinds of gatherings. The size of permissible events will drop steeply as cases are identified and local transmission is established in the metro area.

• If you develop COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you must call ahead to your medical provider or walk-in clinic. You must not go to an office, clinic or walk-in without giving them the chance to protect their staff and other patients if you are infected.

• Avoid non-essential travel. If you must travel locally, regionally or beyond, know if the virus is spreading at your destination. This will reduce your risk of becoming infected and allow you to defer travel if your destination is experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission. State and local health departments at your destination will know and their web sites will contain the information.

• The need for primary and secondary school closures is being assessed. We completely understand the impacts of these closings — the need for childcare, disruptions of programs like school lunch and many other things. Fortunately, we are entering spring break and have time to think about this in consultation with key stakeholders.

• Stay home if you are sick. Contact your provider by phone or online for advice. Protect the people you live with using the commonsense steps below.

• Take these measures to protect yourself and others. Most are common sense and, maybe more important, good manners.

• Clean your hands often. Soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds are best. This is important especially after you touch surfaces like doorknobs and railings that might be contaminated by the coughs and sneezes of others. This removes and kills the virus. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work but are second best to soap and water.

• Keep your unwashed hands away from your face and eyes where the virus gets in.

• Avoid close contact with other people, especially if they have signs of a cold or flu. If you don’t come into contact with the virus, you won’t get sick. Best evidence tells us that about 6 feet of separation will be effective.

• Again, stay home if you’re sick — don’t risk giving the virus to others.

Cover coughs and sneezes, preferably using your elbow or disposable tissues, not your hands.

• Clean surfaces that may be contaminated using standard household disinfectants. They work.

• Make sure you have the medical supplies you need for self-care.

• Don’t panic — it doesn’t help. If we work together we will weather this.

• Access reliable information from public health experts, especially your state and local health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Avoid spreading misinformation from unreliable sources in broadcast and social media and the internet.

You’ll find even more recommendations and a clear-eyed assessment of the situation locally from Dr. Louis Katz, the medical director of the Scott County Health Department.

What are we doing about it?

Finally, there are steps even the City of Riverdale can take to help forestall the spread of COVID-19 in the Quad Cities. Although no cases have been reported yet, it is inevitable coronavirus will appear here. Thankfully, community leaders have formed a task force of elected officials, city/county professionals and health experts (including our local healthcare organizations, both private and public) to address this very fluid situation.

Last Friday, I was in attendance at the press conference held by the COVID-19 Coalition. As a result of that press conference and several other meetings held in both Scott County and Rock Island County, we will also be participating in daily briefing calls of elected officials to make sure we’re aware of the latest news concerning public health and the spread of this virus.

Meetings will be held this week with public health officials and school superintendents in Iowa to discuss school closure plans following spring break week. We’ll share that news as soon as we become aware of it. Look for announcements on the City’s website and the Riverdale Residents Facebook Page.  

Elected officials will also be reviewing plans for public events at our next City Council meeting (on March 24) to determine if any of them need to be delayed or cancelled. Most notably, the first event we’ll need to discuss will be the Egg Hunt in Peggy’s Park scheduled for April 4th.

Coronavirus Update: Shutdowns of note for Riverdale residents

With all the warnings about coronavirus, what should we do?

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDHP) just released a statement about how state officials are screening people at risk for coronavirus and takes the opportunity to warn against a much more serious (and common) threat, influenza. In a recent statement provided by the IDPH, they wrote:

(IDPH) continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local partners to monitor and respond to novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and has since been detected in other parts of the world, including the U.S.

In February, IDPH began monitoring and testing appropriate individuals for the virus, in accordance with recommendations by President Trump’s Task Force on Coronavirus. Testing is recommended for individuals who traveled to China within the last 14 days AND have symptoms of novel coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath). Public health monitoring and limiting contact with the public is recommended for persons who returned from China within the last 14 days but have no symptoms. Monitoring involves the individual checking in with public health several times each day to ensure the person is still well. These individuals also avoid contact with the public in group settings.

While the emergence of a new virus that can infect humans is always a serious public health concern, the risk to the general public remains low at this time. This is a situation that public health prepares for and responds to with a layered approach to protect the public health.

IDPH reports that testing in the state shows the coronavirus risk to Iowans is quite low. There are fewer than 30 people being monitored and the two individuals tested (as of February 10) have both tested negative.

It’s not too late to get that flu shot, however.

Click on this image to see a larger view of this Flu Prevention Tips graphic.

That being said, the IDPH does warn that Iowans are at much greater risk from influenza. In 2018, there were nearly 300 people in the state who died from the flu or flu-related illnesses. That was up from around 140 deaths the previous year.

This IDPH statement on flu risks was buried inside it’s bulletin about its efforts to monitor for coronavirus.

At this time, the greater risk to Iowans is from influenza. This is also the time of year many respiratory viruses circulate. It is important to protect yourself from any of these viruses by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, and staying home from work when ill. It is also not too late to get your flu vaccination.

Besides getting vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control recommend some simple steps to help you from catching the flu this season:

Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

•  Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers

•  It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing
Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.