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Information in Multiple Languages

CritIcal and Emergency Information  

While the coronavirus continues to impact lives across Iowa, the Iowa Department of Human Rights wants to ensure that Iowans have important information to protect themselves and their loved ones.  In critical and emergency situations, the Iowa Department of Human Rights will identify language access needs in areas of the state and share critical and emergency-related information through plain language, translations/interpretations, video and audio files, captioning, and other appropriate means. 

Translation Disclaimer

We provide translated information to help Iowans access information in languages other than English.  The official document is the full, original, English version of the Governor’s proclamations or other official documents which may be found at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov or https://governor.iowa.gov.   Any discrepancies or differences created in any summary or translation (including the website Google Translate option) are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.  


5/20/20  Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation allowing more businesses to open following specific guidelines
Governor's Proclamation 5/20/20

Beginning May 22, 2020, movie theaters, museums, aquariums, zoos, and wedding venues may reopen with appropriate public health mesures.  Swimming pools may reopen for lap swimming and swimming lessons only.   Effective June 1, 2020, schools may reopen school-sponsored activities and follow guidance.  

  • English-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20

  • Amharic -Proclamation Summary 5/20/20 

  • Arabic-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20  

  • Burmese-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20  

  • French-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20       

  • Karen-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20       

  • Karenni-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20     

      
  • Kinyarwanda-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20        

  • Kunama-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20       

  • Nepali-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20            

  • Somali-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20      

  • Spanish-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20    

  • Swahili-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20         

  • Vietnamese-Proclamation Summary 5/20/20   


5/19/20  Iowa Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Application Period Extended to June 30, 2020

Funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been provided under the recent Cares Act passed by Congress and the deadline has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Iowa families are facing many challenges as they cope with the COVID-19 virus. Some have lost jobs or had their hours of employment reduced. These circumstances could lead to difficulty in paying the utility bill. 

If you find yourself in that situation, there is help available through the State’s network of local community action agencies that have offices in all 99 counties. Families can apply for the Energy Assistance program at their local community action agency. This program can help pay a portion of an eligible household's utility bill. Eligibility is based on household size and income. Those who have not already applied, or, who are facing disconnection, are encouraged to do so at this time.

Community action agencies also have other types of help available, such as food and clothing pantries, and other services. You can find a link to information about your local community action agency by going to the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website at https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply or by dialing 2-1-1.


5/13/20  Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation allowing some businesses to reopen statewide with appropriate public health measures effective May 15, 2020.  
View full proclamation by clicking here.

  • English, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20

  • Amharic, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20  

  • Arabic, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20    

  • Burmese, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   

  • French, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   

  • Karenni, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   

  • Karen, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20  

  • Kunama, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   

  • Nepali, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   

  • SpanishSpanish Proclamation Summary 5/13/20  

  • Swahili, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20   
  • Vietnamese, Proclamation Summary 5/13/20  


5/13/20  Do Your Part.  Help Restart Iowa.   Guidance and posters from the Iowa Department of Public Health on re-opening.

Protect Yourself and Your Community

  • Take steps to protect yourself and your community when out in public.
  • Do your Part.  Help Restart Iowa.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay six feet apart from others
  • Stay home if you have underlying health conditions, are at high-risk for COVID-19 or if you are feeling ill.
  • Consider wearing a mask if you will be in close proximity to others.

Ensure a safe workplace

  • Ensure a safe workplace for your employees.
  • Provide or allow employees to wear masks when appropriate.
  • Offer supplies for hand washing or hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces frequently.
  • Stagger work shifts and employee breaks to encourage physical separation.
  • Allow employees to work remotely when possible and take leave when ill.

Safe environment

  • Welcome back your patrons with a safe environment.
  • Post signs at the door saying no one should enter if experiencing symptoms.
  • Have employees stay home when ill.
  • Offer supplies for handwashing or hand sanitizer.
  • Help patrons with social distancing by marking six foot intervals when possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces that are touched frequently.

Do Your Part-Help Restart Iowa Posters


5/6/20  Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation allowing dental services and additional businesses to reopen in a limited manner.

Summary provided by Iowa Department of Public Health:

There is community spread of COVID-19 in Iowa. This is a new disease that is impacting communities across Iowa, the US and globally. It can cause serious complications, including death.

To contain this outbreak and protect Iowans, the Governor has proclaimed a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency. Vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65 should continue to stay home as much as possible, and only go out for essential trips. All Iowans should practice social distancing, good hand hygiene. Most events of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Many closures will continue statewide until May 15, 2020. This includes bars, theaters, casino and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers, museums and zoos, playgrounds, swimming pools, salons, tattoo establishments, and massage therapy establishments.

Dental services may re-open beginning May 8, 2020. Dental offices must follow re-opening guidelines from the Iowa Dental Board.

Other businesses are allowed to re-open beginning May 8, 2020. These include:

  • Campgrounds
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Tanning facilities
  • Medical spas

These businesses must take reasonable measures to ensure social distancing, increased hygiene practices and other measures to reduce COVID-19 spread.

Additional businesses are allowed to reopen on May 8, 2020 in the following counties:  Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington, Woodbury.  

Malls may open if they only allow 50% of their normal capacity and implement other measures to ensure social distancing and hygiene. Food courts and other seating areas, and play areas must stay closed.

Other non-essential retail establishment, such as book stores and clothing stores, may reopen in the counties listed above, but may only allow 50% of their normal capacity and implement other measures to ensure social distancing and hygiene.

Other measures were taken to provide flexibility and regulatory relief. This includes flexibility in school start dates and private instruction, athletic requirements, and professional licensure.


4/27/20  The State of Iowa issued guidance on reopening farmers markets, restaurants, spiritual and religious gatherings, and public health reopening guidance.  
it is very important to know the requirements and guidelines.  Please visit the State's coronavirus website for detailed guidance at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/

Here are the summaries and voice files of the guidance in simplified language.

Guidance for Farmers Market

  • Only food and farm products can be sold
  • No entertainment, activities, or seating areas
  • Vendors must be at least six feet apart
  • Follow health guidelines

Guidance for Re-Opening Restaurants

Public Health COVID-19 Reopening Guidance

Guidance for Spiritual and Religious Gatherings


4/27/20  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issues new proclamation allowing parts of the state to partially reopen.

On April 27, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration until May 27, 2020.  The proclamation has some changes for parts of the state.  The Governor is encouraging all vulnerable Iowans, including those who have health conditions and those older than 65, to stay home as much as possible even if they live in a county that has fewer requirements.

Reopening Businesses and Establishments in 77 Counties

On Friday, May 1, 2020, these businesses in the 77 counties may open if they follow health guidelines and social distancing:

  • Restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores, and libraries can open at 50% of normal operating capacity if people can stay 6 feet apart. 
  • Malls can open at 50% operating capacity, but play areas and food court seating areas will be closed. 
  • Speedways or race tracks that do not include horse or dog races may open if people do not attend in person. 
  • Social, community, recreational and leisure, and sporting events can open with 10 people or less.
  • Spiritual and religious gatherings like churches may open if they follow social distancing and health guidelines.

Businesses in these 22 counties will continue current restrictions through May 15, 2020:  1) Allamakee 2) Benton 3) Black Hawk 4) Bremer 5) Dallas 6) Des Moines 7) Dubuque 8) Fayette 9) Henry 10) Iowa 11) Jasper 12) Johnson 13) Linn 14) Louisa 15) Marshall 16) Muscatine 17) Polk 18) Poweshiek 19)  Scott 20) Tama 21) Washington 22) Woodbury .

Business Closures Extended (Statewide) 

Other businesses that were previously closed will stay closed through May 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. for the whole state of Iowa.


4/24/20  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issues new proclamation allowing some elective surgeries, farmers markets, and other relief. 

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration.  The proclamation allows some elective surgeries and procedures to take place and allows farmers markets to open.  Certain health and safety guidelines must be followed.  The proclamation has some important changes that begin at 5:00 a.m. on April 27, 2020.  These changes are for the whole state of Iowa. 


4/22/20  Iowa Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Offers Spanish Language Safety Information

Spanish-speaking Iowans can access Governor Kim Reynolds' press conferences with live translations of important information about the COVID-19 pandemic.  Iowa PBS will offer translations of the Governor's addresses on air and online.  Iowa PBS is offering a second audio program (SAP) services in Spanish and Iowa Press Special: Coronavirus episodes.  Viewers may submit questions for the Iowa Press Special: Coronavirus panelists in Spanish via email and social media.   For more information, please view the Iowa PBS Announcement and links below. 


4/21/20  New Way to Get Tested for the Virus

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has a new way to help Iowans get tested for the coronavirus for free.  The new process works in three steps:

  1. Answer some questions online about yourself and your health at this website https://www.testiowa.com/. The questions are available in English and Spanish.  
  2. If testing is needed, you will be scheduled for a free drive-through test.  You will receive the date, time, location, and instructions. 
  3. If you test  positive for the virus, you will answer more questions to help prevent spreading the virus.  You may be asked where you have traveled recently and who you have been in contact with.

4/16/20 Governor Kim Reynolds Issues New Proclamation for Additional Protective Measures in Northeast Iowa

RMCC Region 6

The state of Iowa is still under a public health disaster emergency.  Because more people have the virus, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has banned most gatherings of people in Iowa Region 6.  Region 6 includes these counties:  Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek.  The Governor’s order began at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020. 

To protect people from getting the virus, Governor Reynolds banned gatherings.  All gatherings are banned except for people who live in the same house. People must be six feet away from people outside their house whenever possible.  This order applies to people who are in Region 6 whether or not they live in these counties.  Employers in Region 6 counties must make reasonable efforts to allow workers to work from home.  If that is not possible, employers must use precautions to protect the health of employees and the public if work has to be done in person.  The Governor’s April 16 order does not mean that more businesses should close.

The state and local law enforcement will monitor what is happening to protect people’s health and safety.  Law enforcement will assist in enforcing the Governor’s order.  


Information in Multiple Languages

Resources are available in print, video, captioned, and translated materials.  Topics include health and safety, emergency preparedness, and travel, among others. 

Multi-Lingual Hotline

  • Iowans may call the coronavirus hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431 to speak with someone 24/7. If non-English speaker, after the first prompt, press the number 1, at the second prompt enter your zip code (these instructions are only in English).
  • For deaf and hard-of-hearing Iowans, dial 7-1-1 first for the Telecommunications Relay Service to reach the 2-1-1 hotline.
  • Multilingual Hotline COVID-19 1-877-558-2609 M-F 8:30 am - 5:30 pm; native language voicemail 24/7.  Call and select the language from the menu (also listed below) to be connected to an operator and interpreter or to leave a message. This hotline was launched by Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa and Lutheran Services in Iowa in partnership with 2-1-1, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Polk County Health Department.
    • Spanish – 1
    • Arabic - 2
    • Swahili – 3
    • Kinyarwanda – 3
    • Kirundi/Kinyamulenge – 3
    • French – 4
    • Burmese – 5
    • Karen – 5
    • Karenni – 5
    • Nepali – 6
    • Somali – 7
    • Tigrinya – 8
    • Kunama – 8
    • Amharic – 8
    • Nuer – 9
    • Mabaan – 9
    • Vietnamese – 0
    • Mandarin Chinese - *
    • Other Languages/English - #