The community of Bellevue is at a virtual standstill as the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic continues worldwide, and local folks are being warned to avoid large gatherings and engage in ‘social distancing.’

As reported last week, both Bellevue and Marquette school districts cancelled classes until mid-April and dozens of local events and fundraisers have been postponed.

This past week, the cancellations and business closures continued.

Among them were all local church services, as well as many restaurants. The Riverview Hotel is closed until further notice. 2nd Street Station was still open, but for pick-up orders only, with the same situation Spruce Harbor, and Subway. Potter’s Mill is also taking orders for curbside pickup.  Richman's Cafe is also open for pick-up only at the front window and payments are being taken via credit card payment over the phone at the time of placing your order.

Vision Health Care announced they would only see patients on an emergency basis, likewise with the local dentist office; and the Baymont Hotel shuttered its doors as well.

Hachmann Funeral Home said that services will still be held, but the number of  people allowed inside during visitation will be limited via a special rotating system and waiting outside.

One place that seems to be extremely busy, however, is Bender’s Food, whose owner Randy Bender is keeping the shelves stocked the best he can, as people are stocking up on food and supplies in case they need to shelter at home in the coming weeks and days.

Over at the Bellevue Bread Basket (open every third Thursday of each month), organizers found a way to get folks food and still avoid a lot of human contact. The volunteers used orange traffic cones to make a drive-up system. They then prebagged the groceries and brought them out to the customer, one vehicle at a time.

At the Bellevue Public Library, Librarian Marian Meyer said the library is closed to the public, but the staff is offering curbside service. Those interested may call ahead for a book – and the library staff will get it ready for them and deliver it to their car out front. Meyer also encourages people to read e-books. For more information, call 563-872-4991.

More postponements, cancellations and news of the Covid 19 pandemic that concerns Bellevue, as well as the entire Jackson County area, can be found at the top of our homepage at bellevueheraldleader.com.

Below are the current guidelines from the Iowa Department of Public Health:

• Remember the three Cs:

• Cover your cough: use a tissue or elbow

• Clean your hands: use soap and water or hand sanitizer

• Contain germs: stay home when sick

• Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the new virus; the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

• Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions (like heart or lung disease or diabetes) seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

• People who are at higher risk are encouraged to avoid crowds as much as possible and stay away from others who are sick, limit close contact with others in general, avoid crowds, and wash hands often.

• Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include: Fever, cough, and shortness of breath

• The CDC also recommends that any event organizers prepare for the possibility of outbreaks and ensure they have contingency plans in place should the need arise. An event or mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event (fundraisers, dinners, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events).

• Make a plan and discuss it with your family. What if your daycare provider was ill? How would you get groceries if you were ill? These are all questions to think about.

• It is normal to be concerned about a new virus.  It is important to understand the risk of influenza is much higher than the risk of COVID-19 in Iowa right now.