Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 21, 2020
We are praying for you and your family during this time. Click here for a link to the diocesan websites to learn more about streaming Masses and other spiritual opportunities. Your diocese and local parish are there to support you!
The U.S. bishops have written to Congressional leaders to thank them for the swift bipartisan action to address the COVID-19 crisis. The bishops have suggested additional action to address the needs of COVID-19 victims, workers, nonpublic school parents, refugees and homeless people.
It is expected that additional funds will be made available by Congress later this week for the small business “paycheck protection” forgivable loan program.
Some individuals are now also receiving the federal “Economic Impact Payment.” To check on your status, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
STATE OF IOWA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE
Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced the closure of schools in Iowa for the rest of the school year. All schools will be responsible for submitting a “Return to Learn” plan to the state Department of Education by July 1. Schools will also have the ability to choose their own start date for the 2020-2021 school year.
The governor also announced the “Test Iowa” initiative to expand testing capacity. It includes an online assessment at www.testiowa.com that will better inform Iowans of their current health status, whether or not they should get a COVID-19 test, and instructions on how to get tested. The assessment asks about existing symptoms and occupational considerations.
Iowa Workforce Development has hired more than 100 people to assist with processing of claims. If you have been laid off from your job due to the crisis, go to www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov for assistance. Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 239-0843.
For now, the official date for the legislative session to resume is April 30. Leaders have said they want to get a better idea of how the crisis is affecting state revenue, so that would imply coming back at a later date. We’ll see.
BISHOPS ENCOURAGE CREATION OF ETHICAL VACCINE
Four bishop chairmen of USCCB committees have urged Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure that vaccines for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion. Click here to view all of the signatories and to read the full text of the letter.