Polk County

Des Moines, Polk County help more households with emergency rent than state-run program

BY: - July 22, 2021

The City of Des Moines and Polk County have assisted more households with emergency rental aid so far this year than a state-run program serving Iowa’s other 98 counties combined. The city and county have received more than 3,500 applications for the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance program. According to data from the U.S. Department […]

D.M. fire chief warns of fireworks risks during drought; countywide burn ban begins

BY: - June 21, 2021

The current drought will make fireworks an even bigger fire threat, Des Moines’ fire chief told the Des Moines City Council Monday. “We’re always very concerned about fireworks. We tend to lose a home every year. Someone gets burned every year,” Des Moines Fire Chief John TeKippe said. “The fires that (fireworks) cause can be […]

Polk County approves vaccine lottery

BY: - June 15, 2021

Polk County is starting a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program in the form of a lottery this summer. Fully vaccinated residents can enter to win up to $50,000 starting June 25.  The county is beginning the vaccine lottery with its first drawing on June 25, the Polk County Board of Supervisors and the county’s health department […]

Polk County officials expect little impact from J & J vaccine disruption

BY: - April 13, 2021

The federal order to temporarily stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 is not expected to substantially alter operations in Iowa’s largest county.  Nola Aigner Davis, spokeswoman for the Polk County Health Department, said the county is still assessing Tuesday’s announcement from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control […]

covid-19 cell pastel

Iowa’s COVID-19 cases rise, but are far below November peak

BY: - April 2, 2021

Iowa’s tally of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise, but still is one-tenth of the peak in November, a New York Times database shows.  The state reported nearly 5,500 new cases on Nov. 13 during a stretch when hospitalizations also peaked. The state reported 735 new cases on Thursday, with a seven-day average of 521, […]

About half of Iowa vaccine providers can deny access to noncustomers, nonpatients

BY: - February 4, 2021

Roughly one-half of Iowa’s 1,700 providers of the COVID-19 vaccine are free to deny the vaccine to noncustomers, according to state health officials. With many Iowa clinics and hospitals refusing the vaccine to anyone who is not already doing business with them as a patient, some Iowans must go to pharmacies that may not be […]

Polk County faces COVID-19 vaccine shortage, pleads for patience, online signups

BY: - January 26, 2021

Polk County medical facilities have a severe shortage of COVID-19 vaccine, leading officials to plead with residents to schedule their appointments online.  With patience. The best place to start is at the Polk County Health Department, at this website, county officials said Tuesday.   People who don’t have internet access can call the county at […]

Polk County fights to keep records secret, citing ‘morbid curiosity’ of those who seek access

BY: - January 22, 2021

A legal battle over public access to a secret list of property owners maintained by Polk County is about to enter its fifth year, with county officials arguing that disclosure would only serve to satisfy “whatever morbid curiosity there is in the information.” Final written briefs in the case were recently submitted to the Iowa […]

Teachers, grocery workers, are next on Polk County’s COVID-19 vaccine timeline

BY: - January 5, 2021

Police officers, teachers and grocery store workers are on the list of essential workers who will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine following long-term care residents and health care personnel, according to the Polk County Health Department. On Tuesday, the Polk County Health Department released a tentative immunization timeline for central Iowa. Polk County is […]

Polk County’s pre-holiday COVID-19 infection rate is worse than it was over July 4

BY: - September 3, 2020

As Iowans prepare to enter another holiday weekend, Polk County’s reported COVID-19 infection rates are at a higher rate than they were over the July 4 weekend. But even though the virus is more present in the community than ever, people may feel more comfortable traveling or potentially exposing themselves to the virus now than […]

Iowans say they’re struggling to schedule Test Iowa appointments before July 4 weekend

BY: - July 2, 2020

Iowans on social media have shared struggles scheduling a Test Iowa appointment before the July 4 weekend, which public health officials are warning could be a time people spread COVID-19. The program has locations across the state and is meant to be a free and accessible way for Iowans to get COVID-19 testing. However, scheduling […]


Lawmakers abandoned Iowans in crisis by shirking promise to pay for mental health reform

BY: - June 22, 2020

One of the significant casualties of the interrupted 2020 legislative session was any effort to pay for the ambitious mental health expansion that lawmakers have approved the past two years in a row. Gov. Kim Reynolds has often lamented the toll COVID-19 has had on Iowans’ mental health, typically as a justification for starting to […]