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Coronavirus illness at four in Tama County

Updates From Sheriff Office, Jail, Motor Vehicle, Property Taxes

March 26, 2020
Compiled by Allison Graham and John Speer - Toledo Chronicle / Tama News-Herald , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tama County Health and Home Care officials said in their latest report available at Tama News-Herald deadline on Wednesday there have been four confirmed cases of coronavirus - COVID-19 in the county.

According to Health and Home Care the Iowa Department of Health first announced three Tama County cases on Saturday, March 21.

Shannon Zoffka, Executive Director of Tama County Public Health, said at the time all four people are self isolating at home. Two of the cases are between the ages of 18-40 and two cases are in the 41-60 age group.

Article Photos

South Tama schools food service workers Stephanie Paosh (left) and Shelly Seth (right) with bus transportation employee Dave Castonwine (center) provide lunches to a South Tama student at the Elementary School in Tama on Thursday, March 19. The free food distribution for all students ages 18 and under is available Monday-Friday at the Middle School in Toledo and Partnership Center and Elementary in Tama according to Food Service Director Sandra Jantzen. A total of 157 lunches were distributed on the first day Jantzen said.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

One of those cases is reported a healthcare worker from the Meskwaki Health Clinic. According to a press release posted to the Meskwaki Nation-Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa Facebook page, the individual does not live on the Settlement but is an employee at the clinic. Direct exposure was limited to four individuals who came into direct contact with the employee according to the release. It went on to say if you did not receive a phone call Saturday morning, you were not exposed. Patients who came into direct contact were advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Later on Saturday, the Meskwaki Tribe issued another press release ordering a shelter in place notice. Residents shall not leave their homes unless going to and from grocery stores, pharmacies, or the Meskwaki Health Clinic.

Tama County

Sheriff's Office, Jail

The Tama County Sheriff's Office front office will be closed until further notice. This is to help mitigate the spread of the Corona/COVID-19 virus. There is no jail visitation until further notice.

Tax filings, motor vehicles

From: Michelle Yuska

Tama County Treasurer

Property Taxes

Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation that waives late penalty for March property tax payments, through the duration of the proclamation to help give some assistance to Iowans dealing with the impact of COVID-19. What this means is that property taxes are still due by March 31, 2020 and considered delinquent on April 1, 2020. The proclamation currently expires on April 16, 2020. Therefore, at this time, late penalty for delinquent March property taxes will begin on April 17, 2020.

Property tax payments must be postmarked, paid online at, or dropped off in the Tama County Treasurer payment drop box outside the building by April 16th to avoid a late penalty.

Motor Vehicles and Licenses

Iowa Dept. of Transportation: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' issuance of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, the Iowa Department of Transportation seeks to combat the spread of the virus by taking the following immediate actions.

Driver's License Holders

If you have a driver's license that has an expiration date of Jan. 16, 2020, or later you do not have to renew your license at this time. It will remain valid for driving purposes until the declared disaster has ended.

Vehicle Titles, Registration and License Plates

If your vehicle registration expired Jan. 16, 2020, or later will be considered valid until the declared disaster has ended.

If you are purchasing or transferring a vehicle you will not be required to obtain a title and registration within 30 days. This will remain in effect until the declared disaster is over.

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer you will not be required to obtain license plates within 45 days. This will remain in effect until the declared disaster is over.

Overweight Loads for Motor Carriers

On non interstate roads only, trucks hauling food, medical supplies, cleaning products, or other household goods may exceed the weights listed in Iowa Code 321.463 by 12.5 percent without a permit, so long as they don't exceed 20,000 pounds on an individual axle, and their total weight does not exceed 90,000 pounds. Trucks are still required to obey posted bridge restrictions.

Governor Reynolds

Governor Kim Reynolds held press conferences on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23 and 24, and 25 providing an update on COVID-19.

Numbers in Iowa are now up to 145 (as of Thursday March 26) positive cases, 2,578 negative with spread reaching 31 counties. There are currently 18 individuals hospitalized in Iowa with the coronavirus.

Reynolds also released plans for state based disaster assistance in collaboration with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Revenue, and Iowa Workforce Development.

The new state based disaster plans will make funding available for small grants for businesses with 2-25 employees in amounts between $5000-25,000. The plan, first made available Tuesday at 8 a.m., also extends the sales and withholding tax deadline for any business that receives a grant and considers an extension for any business that applies for a grant.

Currently, funds available for the program total four million dollars, two million from economic emergency funds and two million that was reallocated from the IEDA budget.

Iowa Workforce Development

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may delay unemployment tax payments from first quarter to July 31 it has been announced.

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham shared more details of the program. The following are eligibility criteria for the Iowa small business release program:

business disruption must be due to the pandemic

business must employ 2-25 people prior to March 17

eligible for the deferral of cells in use or withholding taxes in waiver of penalty and interest, must only be experiencing disruption due to the pandemic, there is no employment limit on this

The application deadline will be March 31

Reynolds has maintained she is not ready to issue a statewide shelter in place order but did say "If you do not need to leave your house to help your family or other Iowans respond to this disaster, stay home. If your job allows you to work from home, do so. If you can keep your children home with you instead of taking them to daycare, do so. If you are an employer with a workforce able to work remotely, help them work remotely. Limit your time away from home for trips for essentials like groceries, medications and necessary supplies. Send just one family member out for errands. If you work in essential services like healthcare, emergency services, food production and supply, manufacturing or transportation you are on the front lines of response efforts."

It was also shared that accommodation and food services as well as hourly employees for educational services have filed the most unemployment claims thus far in the state.



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