COVID-19 Resources

ICA strives to be an information clearinghouse to help members cope with all the stresses that impact your business during the COVID-19 crisis. For ease of reference, we built this page to be used as a depository location for resources already shared with members and additional resources that we compile in the days ahead.

NTCA has also developed a resources page -  https://www.ntca.org/ruraliscool/newsroom/ntca-coronavirus

 

Webcast/Conference Calls

Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery Logistics Management Directorate are invited to join a business and infrastructure partners call concerning the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).  The teleconference will include an overview of the current situation, a discussion on supply chain issues, updates from available regions or sectors, and will conclude with an open forum for questions and information sharing. These calls will occur twice weekly until further notice.

  • Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting March 17th - until further notice
  • Time: 2pm central time
  • Dial-In #:1-800-593-7177 Passcode/PIN:7963614 

Business and Infrastructure partners are also invited to access the FEMA NBEOC dashboard by going here: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeoc

 

Resources

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Now Available.  UNI’s Institute for Decision Making is assisting the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in gathering information from Iowa businesses to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa.  IEDA asks our members to consider completing this brief survey by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23.  IEDA will use the information collected in this survey to inform its public policy in response to the crisis, as well as potential assistance to businesses.

Emergency Management Coordinator Meetings.  Click here for a document the ICA Regulatory Relations team prepared in early 2018 to help guide conversations with your emergency management coordinator.

Human Resource Issues.  Unfortunately, ICA cannot give individual legal advice in this tricky arena and we urge you to contact your attorneys and advisors for specific advice.  We do note that the Iowa Workforce Development Website has useful information for employers on COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance, Employer Voluntary Shared Work Program, webcasts and other information.

ICA’s Service Restoration and Business Continuity Plan from 2012 – the ICA Regulatory Relations Committee will be revisiting this document soon to “dust it off” and decide if we need to consider updates

Iowa Department of Public Health:  Tips on Preventing the Spread & Social Distancing:  The most important thing for Iowans to know is they should take additional precautions right away to slow the spread of the virus:

• Iowans 60+ with underlying conditions should stay home and avoid gatherings
• Do not hold or attend large gatherings of more than 10 people
• Stay home if you are sick
• Consider social distancing measures
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
• Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
• Touch your face as little as possible

For more information on the coronavirus, call 2-1-1 or go to:  https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Business-and-Organizations

Network Reliability Steering Committee Pandemic Checklist from The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) which is a respected telcom industry standard-making consortium
Pandemic Response Strategies.  Tom Conry has shared his company’s Pandemic Response Strategies for others to review and consider, along with his company’s website https://www.fmctc.com/covid19.  Tom also asks for input on any ideas to improve this strategy, so please let Tom or Dave Duncan know of suggested improvements.

Safeguard Iowa Partnership has developed the 2020 COVID 19 Situational Awareness page dedicated to current updates provided from healthcare partners that includes updates on Situational Awareness, Preventative Measures that can be taken for businesses, healthcare organizations, and personal protections.

ICA Member Companies connected by Zoom Meeting on March 18 and shared Best Practices.  Click here for a summary of the discussion.

 

General information from Centers for Disease Control:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC Pandemic Plan Guidance

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (strong source for employer recommendations):  https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (guidance for businesses and employers):
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/2019_ncov.html

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA disaster assistance in response to the coronavirus): 
https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

Iowa Department of Public Health (COVID-19 Preparedness for Iowa Businesses webinar):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYoBK293v5I&feature=youtu.be

Iowa Department of Public Health (general tips, updates and resources): https://idph.iowa.gov/emerging-health-issues/novel-coronavirus

Iowa Workforce Development (information for employers and workers):
https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/updates-and-resources-about-covid-19

ISU Center for Industrial Research and Service -- CIRAS (terrific source for Iowa-specific information): https://www.ciras.iastate.edu/covid-19/

IEDA - Iowa Business Recovery Website:  http://www.iowabusinessrecovery.com/  Financial assistance for businesses, including link to the Small Business Relief Grant application - Applications for this grant are due by noon on March 31

 

Informational Updates

Iowa Dept of Public Health Mitigation Statement (3/14/2020)

Iowa DOT Adjusts Public Services. The Iowa Department of Transportation seeks to combat the spread of the virus and says that any driver’s licenses expiring Jan. 16, 2020 or later and any vehicle registration expired Jan. 17, 2020 or later will be considered valid until the declared disaster has ended.  Click here for more IDOT information. 

NTCA has requested assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to provide the communications sector with access letters that would permit you access to areas under quarantine to provide critical service and override any fuel rationing, provide priority access to personal protective equipment and other measures.
Personal Protective Equipment.  PPE is Being Rationed to Hospitals and Medical Providers
On Thursday afternoon, ICA notified the 911 Manager from Department of Homeland Security and IUB Board Chair Geri Huser that numerous ICA members reported they were unable to obtain any PPE from county emergency management coordinators.  Several emails and conversations took place that led to the strong presumption that telecom providers will not be elevated to a level that would allow access to the limited supplies of PPE. This is contrary to the advice we received on Wednesday.   We’ve been told that those limited supplies apparently are only able to be disbursed to hospitals and medical providers.   Therefore, the informal advice from state sources is that communications providers NOT enter customers’ homes unless it is an emergencyAgain, state officials direct communications providers to the IDPH best practices and guidance documents at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus
IUB Urges All Utilities to Refrain from Service Shutoffs Due to COVID-19
IUB issued a Press Release late yesterday urging all utilities including non-investor owned -- especially those providing water service -- to temporarily ban disconnection of service to customers. The IUB also recommends all telecommunications companies suspend service shutoff to customers during this time. To be clear, this is an advisory and not a rule or edict.  Click here to read it. 
211 Routing Information 
We’ve had questions about routing of 211 calls.  211 is the number consumers are to call to get information regarding the Coronavirus.  ICA has been told that providers should route 211 calls to 1-800-244-7431, which is the United Way of Central Iowa.  We understand United Way has an IVR that asks for the zip code and it does say 211 of Iowa.