• F ast food restaurants adapt for pandemic
Latest coronavirus updates, 3/19/20
EU clears way for UTC-Raytheon tie-up
Involta launches new global IT security solution
CBJ Movers & Shakers: Week of 3.16.20
• Corridor events, KCRG-TV9 headlines and First Alert Forecast
Fast food restaurants adapt for pandemic
The Corridor’s fast food restaurants have quickly adapted to a new normal as the coronavirus pandemic spreads to affect all aspects of daily living.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced tighter restrictions on public spaces on March 17 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. They included a ban on dining in at restaurants, the closing of bars, and the closing of certain other kinds of recreational facilities including fitness clubs, casinos and movie theaters.

Five Culver’s restaurant locations in Linn and Black Hawk counties had already gone to a drive-through-only model even before Ms. Reynolds announced the new restrictions.

Restaurant operators have had to adapt fast.

“The hardest thing is, this ever-changing thing is happening to the whole world, and it’s coming faster than anyone is used to,” said Jake Kendall, who owns and operates the Culver’s restaurants. “The good news is, we’ve always taken [hygiene] stuff very seriously, so we’re making sure we take extra measures. Luckily, our model is that we can be flexible and adaptable, and that’s what we’re doing to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and team members.”

In addition to increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas, Culver’s managers are actively monitoring team members’ health.

“Where we might have checked in about wellness once, we’re asking them two and three times,” he said, adding he has ensured employees there will be no questions asked if someone is unwell or nervous about coming in. Culver’s offers short-term disability and paid sick leave, and Mr. Kendall is actively looking at where else he might fill in gaps for workers depending on what’s included in government relief bills.

“This is one of those things that we’re all in together,” he added. “I keep saying, ‘let’s not pretend to be the experts, but let’s be the experts at following the experts.’”

Read the full story at .
Latest coronavirus updates, 3/19/20
Ed. note: The CBJ is working hard to keep you up to date on the latest coronavirus news. We’re publishing a short roundup each day of notable cancelations, closures, changes and more. Send your tips and releases to to help us stay up to date. See our ongoing thread with collected updates here .

The city of Cedar Rapids has cancelled the Cedar Rapids City Council meeting scheduled for March 24. Agenda items for the meeting will be postponed to a future

Steindler Orthopedic has announced that all elective, non-emergency surgical procedures will be suspended starting Monday. The clinic will also not schedule elective procedures before May 1, unless the rapidly changing situation allows it. Effective immediately, Steindler physicians will determine whether scheduled surgical procedures can be postponed or should proceed as planned. Patients who have surgical procedures scheduled after March 20 will be contacted.

The University of Iowa, in coordination with the Board of Regents and the state, has announced it will delay the start of virtual instruction by one week to give faculty and staff time to transition to online learning. Courses will now resume March 30, and will be conducted virtually through the rest of the spring semester. The UI also announced that spring commencement ceremonies have been cancelled. All marketplaces and most residence halls and on-campus housing will be closed starting today. Procedures for orderly move-out and transition policies are being provided to housing residents.

All employees outside of UI Health Care have been asked to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be completed on campus. UI Libraries, the Iowa Memorial Union and Hancher Auditorium are also closed. All Hancher programming for the remainder of the spring semester has been cancelled.

The city of Iowa City has declared a civil emergency. The declaration from Mayor Bruce Teague gives the city greater power to “maintain health, welfare, and safety within the community.” One measure gives the Iowa City Police Department the ability to, by criminal citation or arrest, enforce Gov. Kim Reynolds’ State of Emergency orders, including the closing of bars and restaurants, besides delivery or to-go services; the closing of theaters and other event spaces; and the banning of all social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings of more than 10 people. The declaration also gives City Manager Geoff Fruin, or his designee, the power to purchase or lease goods and services to help further the response to COVID-19 without the city's standard competitive procurement procedure.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill expanding the roles of physician assistants in Iowa, enabling them to better serve patients in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The bill makes changes related to the practice of a PA by allowing for full prescriptive rights, legal protections similar to other health care professions, the ability to be reimbursed by Medicaid and a range of other changes.

Coe College in Cedar Rapids has announced that it will shift to online instruction beginning March 30, which follows the institution’s extended spring break. Coe is encouraging students to return home by April 5, but accommodations will be made for students with extenuating circumstances to remain on campus in the residence halls. Commencement activities have been cancelled. All nonessential faculty and staff are scheduled to work from home until at least April 10. The college remains operational.

Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy have announced the suspension of disconnects for non-payment during the public health emergency. Both companies’ crews will continue to respond to all emergency calls, but other non-emergency work will be limited or postponed, if possible. MidAmerican crews will take extra precautions when it’s necessary to be indoors on a customer’s property.
The Iowa City Downtown District is partnering with downtown restaurants to implement delivery and no-contact pickup services. Click here for a list of restaurants currently offering these services. Local service Chomp is also offering free delivery from many downtown Iowa City restaurants through April. See the full list of participating restaurants here , and use free delivery code ICDD.
First Federal Credit Union, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, GreenState Credit Union and Farmers State Bank (FSB) have all announced suspension of lobby services. Customers are encouraged to call or email bankers, or use online banking tools.

Hy-Vee has announced new store hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice, to give employees additional time to clean and sanitize all areas of the store, as well as restock shelves. The chain has also closed all dining areas and Market Grille bars, although food service is still available for carry-out. Hy-Vee also announced it would be transitioning some of its Aisles Online food delivery to third-party partners like DoorDash and Shipt to allow employees to focus on pickup orders and in-store needs.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has taken several new actions to combat the spread of COVID-19 in response to the issuance of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency. Until the declared disaster is over, driver’s license holders with an expiration date of Jan. 16, 2020, or later do not have to renew licenses and licenses will remain valid for driving purposes. Vehicle registrations expired Jan. 16, 2020, or later will also be considered valid. Those purchasing or transferring a vehicle will not be required to obtain a title and registration within 30 days and those purchasing a vehicle from a dealer are not required to obtain license plates within 45 days.
Driver’s license and ID business is being conducted by appointment only at this time. Customers should make appointments online or by calling (515) 244-8725. All non-commercial drive tests will be discontinued and rescheduled to a future date. All customers entering a DOT service center will be asked a series of questions to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and exposure to others being served.
Johnson County has established new protocols for public meetings after closing nearly all public buildings earlier this week. Members of the public are encouraged to join public meetings in one of two ways: Using a computer or electronic device to listen to the live meeting through an internet connection at or by dialing (319) 688-8013 five minutes prior to or during the meeting to join via conference call.
Public comments related to any matter on the meeting agenda can also be emailed or relayed via telephone to the appropriate office or department. County department and office contact information is available here . Those who must attend in person will be greeted at the door by a Johnson County staff member. 
EU clears way for UTC-Raytheon tie-up
The European Union has approved United Technologies Corp.’s merger with Raytheon, subject to UTC’s previously announced sale of its GPS business and Raytheon’s sale of its airborne radio business.
The approval removes one of the last remaining hurdles to the $121 billion merger of equals, which will create a new company under the Raytheon name focused on aerospace and defense.
In a news release March 13, the EU said it had concerns that the deal would have reduced competition in the markets for airborne radios and military GPS receivers.
The commission found UTC and Raytheon are two of very few suppliers of the core military GPS technology worldwide, including in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which in turn constitutes a critical input for a broad range of military systems. As a result, it said the merged entity would have faced very limited competition from alternative suppliers following the transaction.
On military airborne radios, the commission found UTC and Raytheon are two major suppliers of such systems worldwide and, in particular, the only two real options currently available to U.S. military aircraft manufacturers. European armed forces procure military aircraft from U.S. manufacturers, raising concerns that the concentration would result in harm to armed forces in the European Economic Area, including higher prices.
Vertical links between UTC and Raytheon’s businesses were not found to harm competition, because the merged business would not have the ability or the incentives to restrict competitors’ access to essential product inputs, or an adequate base of customers.
Involta launches new global IT security solution
Involta announced on Wednesday that it has launched a new global security monitoring and response solution through a partnership with Alert Logic.
The new solution provides 24/7/365 protection across an organization’s private and public IT infrastructure, combining Alert Logic’s managed detection and response solution with Involta’s team of technical experts.
“We’re thrilled to partner with industry leader Alert Logic, to provide our clients with market-defining security solutions that strengthen our existing offerings across all IT environments – cloud, on-premises and hybrid,” Involta CEO Bruce Lehrman said in a news release.

Alert Logic gleans threat intelligence from the experiences of more than 4,000 customers, helping organizations “extend their security teams with the hundreds of security experts, dedicated data scientists and threat hunters required to address today’s threat landscape,” according to CEO Bob Lyons.
Over the last three years, Involta has made a strong commitment to its security suite of services, growing the division by more than 80%.
“We’ve invested heavily in not only the protection of our data center clients, but also our hybrid cloud and managed services customers,” Mr. Lehrman noted. “We continue to develop our partnerships with innovators like Alert Logic to bring cutting-edge technology to the marketplace and help organizations leverage IT to achieve their business goals.”
The partnership with Alert Logic will also allow Involta to offer free AWS Security Reviews for businesses that host workloads in the public cloud. The review includes a full assessment of an organization’s AWS security deployment, providing them with a comprehensive report on their current security posture, specific threat vulnerabilities and remediation guidance to reduce their threat risk. Learn more about the AWS Security Review at .
CBJ Movers & Shakers: Week of 3.16.20
For the full list of this week's Movers & Shakers, see the  March 16 edition  of the CBJ.
Short Term Event Planner

Ed. note: Due to Gov. Kim Reynolds' declaration of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, events of more than 10 people are prohibited through March 31. If you have a meeting or event that doesn't fall under that provision and will still be held, please let us know at  so we can update our calendar.
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Headlines from KCRG-TV9
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9  
Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to provide an update today on the coronavirus pandemic in Iowa. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m., according to Reynolds' office. Right now, there are 38 cases in Iowa, many of them in the eastern part of the state. Johnson County has the most at 21 cases and Allamakee County has two cases. Black Hawk, Washington and Winneshiek counties each have at least one case.

Coe College in Cedar Rapids said it will shift its classes to online instruction starting March 30. The college said it has also canceled this year's graduation events. The college is in the process of making alternative arrangements to celebrate the accomplishments of the Coe College Class of 2020, officials said in a statement. Coe students are currently on spring break which ends March 29. Students are encouraged to return home by April 5. Nonessential faculty and staff are scheduled to work from home until at least April 10.

These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Expect rain and thunderstorms to continue most of the day, although there could be a few breaks here and there during the afternoon. A few strong storms could develop that have the potential to produce large hail early on and as they continue through the afternoon, strong winds and the potential for a few tornadoes is not out of the question. Highs today will vary depending on where you are - 40s and 50s toward the north and areas near I-80 and south will be in the low to mid-60s. Overnight tonight, rain and storms continue early, before transitioning into a rain/snow mix towards the north. A few flurries could be possible tomorrow morning, otherwise decreasing clouds cover. Once that rain moves out, windy will turn to the northwest and be very gusty, sustaining between 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 40s, making way for a chilly day Thursday. We will start out in the mid to upper 20s, with highs only in the low 30s.