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Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 16, 2021

LEGISLATORS RETURNING TO DES MOINES


It appears there is progress in negotiations between the House and Senate on budget bills, so some legislators have returned to Des Moines. In the meantime, check out our Action Center for some last-minute alerts with sample messages to legislators: www.iowacatholicconference.org/voter-voice.


COVID-19 UPDATES


The federal Center for Disease Control has updated its guidance for COVID-19:

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.

  • Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

  • If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.

With the changes in CDC guidance, Catholic dioceses in Iowa are updating their procedures related to the pandemic. You can check out your diocesan website from here: https://iowacatholicconference.org/diocesan-links/.


Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the state will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs effective June 12. Iowa will continue to pay regular unemployment claims.


The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and Iowa Department of Education have announced the distribution plan for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance benefits for eligible Iowa school children. The benefits are available to households with children in Pre-K through grade 12 who temporarily lost access to Free and Reduced Price School Meals during the 2020-21 school year due to pandemic-related school schedule changes and closures. P-EBT cards are being distributed through multiple rounds of mailings. New cards for all eligible students will arrive in white envelopes addressed with the child’s name and an Austin, Texas, return address.

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