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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

1/5/2021: City of Des Moines administration buildings remain closed to the public until at least March 2021. Learn More

12/15/2020: Mayor Cownie has amended the emergency proclamation to limit outdoor gatherings on public property to 30 people. Learn More

8/26/2020: Mayor Cownie has amended the emergency proclamation to mandate face coverings in public whenever proper social distancing can not be mantained. Learn More

For the most current information about the COVID-19 situation in Polk County, visit the Polk County Health Department's website.

Language interpreters are available by calling the Iowa COVID-19 English Language Learner (ELL) Help Line at 1-877-558-2609.

City of Des Moines services impact

Public Meetings

Last updated: 1/4/2021

We are currently evaluating and prioritizing how to conduct public meetings safely without interruptions to public business. Public meetings will be held via teleconference whenever possible.

View our events calendar for the latest public meetings schedule.

Des Moines Public Library

Last updated: 12/10/2020

The Des Moines Public Library has reduced its in-person services as a result of increasing COVID-19 spread in Polk County.

Beginning Tuesday, November 17, in-person DMPL Express services — browsing, inside holds pickup, public computer usage, and more – have temporarily ended at our East Side, Forest Avenue, North Side, and South Side locations. Curbside pickup is still available during regular hours of operation. 

At Central Library, browsing and inside holds pickup are no longer available, and the use of public computer sessions requires an appointment. The Central pickup window remains open during regular hours.

At Franklin Avenue Library, study rooms are no longer be available for reservations. Curbside pickup continues normally. 

This change in services will run through at least Monday, December 21. Library administration, in consultation with the DMPL Board of Trustees, City leaders, and health officials, will reassess available library services on a weekly basis moving forward.  

Library users may still pick up their holds and take advantage of limited in-person services at each location through the end of day Monday, November 16. Masks and social distancing are required at all times while using the library, and a limited number of people are allowed inside at a time.

Go to for a full list of available services and hours beginning Tuesday, November 17.

As of Monday, Nov. 16, the Des Moines Public Library is eliminating overdue fines on all children and teen materials and will stop collecting previously accrued overdue fines on those items.

As a result, nearly 2,000 customers with library cards that were blocked due to unpaid fines on children and teen materials will be able to use the library again after those fines are forgiven. (Some customers may need to reactivate their cards first.)

By clearing these fines, the Des Moines Public Library hopes to welcome back families who stopped checking out books and using library services due to an inability to pay overdue fines on materials checked out for children and teens.

Learn more

Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Last updated: 12/16/2020

Facility and Program Updates 

Athletic Fields/Complexes, Birdland Futsal and Sports Courts

  • No Team Sports, Pick-Up Games and Contact Play Allowed

  • Appointments Encouraged
Community Recreation Centers
  • Reduced Capacity: 50%
  • No Team Sports, Pick-Up Games and Contact Play Allowed

Enclosed Shelter Rentals
  • Limited to 9 People
  • Masks and Social Distancing (6 feet or more) Required
Golf Course Clubhouses
  • Reduced Capacity: 50%
Outdoor Event Venues
  • Groups Over 30 people-Canceled through Feb. 1
Outdoor Gatherings – Specifically Funerals
  • Limited to 30 people
  • Masks and Social Distancing (6 feet or more) Required
Park and Trail Use Permits
  • Groups Over 30 people-Canceled through Feb. 1
  • Masks and Social Distancing (6 feet or more) Required
Special Events (In-Person)
  • Suspended
Sports Programs
  • Adult Volleyball Session One – Season Canceled
  • Adult Volleyball Session Two– Season Postponed
  • Snoball Softball Tournament - Canceled
  • Special Events (In-Person) - Suspended
  • Youth Pre-K and Kindergarten Basketball – Season Canceled

  • Outdoors-Limited to 30  
  • Indoors-Limited to 15  
  • Masks and Social Distancing (6 feet or more) Required

Our parks and trails remain open…please enjoy them responsibly! Make sure to practice social distancing and other healthy habits.  Conditions change rapidly, so watch for updates on this page and via social media at Facebook and Twitter.

Des Moines Public Works

Last updated: 11/23/2020

The pickup of large items has resumed but we ask that you follow these guidelines:
1. The collection of bulk items must be scheduled through the Des Moines Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Center by calling (515) 283-4950. 
2. Properly stickered items must be curbside before 7 a.m., with stickers facing the street.
3. Bulk items that require pink $5 large item stickers include:
-items that do not fit in a 33-gallon bag or a 2'x2'x3' box
-furniture including couches and tables
-rolled carpet (carpet must be rolled and tied and be no larger than 4' long and 18" in diameter)(1 $5 sticker for 5 rolls)

If you have an appliance that needs to be picked up, please purchase seven $5 pink stickers, totaling $35, and call the Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Call Center at (515) 283-4950 to schedule collection for the following Wednesday.

If you have cardboard that needs to be recycled, that won't fit into your cart, you can take broken down boxes and flat cardboard to one of four designated containers located at 108 SE 5th Street in Des Moines.

The Metro Waste Authority (MWA) Hazardous Waste Drop-off sites are open but masks are recommended and customers must stay in their car. Visit the MWA website for more information.

As of this time, there are no other impacts to garbage/recycling/yard waste collection services or street maintenance.

Our 2020 SCRUB events are now complete. Stay tuned to our website, at, for 2021 dates. They will be announced after the first of the year.

For questions or concerns about Public Works' services, residents are encouraged to call the 24/7 call center at (515) 283-4950.

Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on this page and via Facebook and Twitter.

Development Services

Last updated: 11/9/2020

Permit and Development Center - Construction Permits & Inspections
The offices for the Permit and Development Center are closed to the public in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The public will still be able to conduct business by phone and email. Learn about available services and find contact information by visiting or by calling (515) 283-4200.  

Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on this page.

Neighborhood/Housing Services

Last updated: 11/13/2020

Neighborhood Inspections Division - Rental Housing & Property Inspections 
Due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Polk County, we are immediately suspending all rental inspections of occupied units.  The landlord/manager/owner may be asked to conduct a virtual inspection with the assistance of the inspectors. If a virtual inspection cannot be conducted, the inspection date will be pushed back.

Neighborhood Inspections is now out doing inspections looking for unlicensed vehicles, inoperable vehicles, junk and debris. Notices are going out requesting properties be cleaned up. Property owners can request more time to clean up by filing an appeal. The notice will tell you how to request a hearing. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the hearings are held over the phone. If you ask for a hearing, you will be told how to call in and talk with the hearing officer. For more information, please send an email to

Items found on the curb will be tagged, removed and the property owner will be billed for the costs.  An item with a public works sticker will be removed by Public Works.

Housing Services
The Housing Services lobby is open only for the purposes of clients dropping off information that cannot be sent by mail and clients paying rent or other charges that cannot be mailed in.  Staff are not accepting cash payments at this time. Clients are directed to conduct business with staff by phone at (515) 323-8950 or by fax or by mail. Housing Services staff are NOT available to meet with clients unless they have a pre-scheduled meeting inviting them to come into the office.

Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on this page.

City Clerk's Office

Last updated: 11/6/2020

As of 5 p.m. on March 17, the City Clerk’s Office is closed, but staff will continue to conduct business via phone and email.

Residents are encouraged to pay tickets online. 2021 Animal License applications can now be completed online.

Staff are available for questions at and (515) 283-4209.

Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on this page.

Civil & Human Rights Department

Last updated: 3/17/2020

In the interest of protecting the health and safety of our residents and employees and following the guidance of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the office location for the Civil & Human Rights Department is closed through at least Monday, February 1, 2020. The Annual Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Symposium scheduled for March 18, 2020 has been canceled. 

Below are some ways for us to serve you at home and protect your human rights during this pandemic:

  • Always feel free to contact us during the business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. via telephone at (515) 283-4284 and via email at for assistance or questions.
  • Information on your human rights, including brochures on your rights in 12 different languages, can be accessed 24 hours a day at
  • Human Rights Violation Complaints can filed online in English or in Spanish at
  • If you are not comfortable filing the complaint out online, you can also print a copy of the PDF in English or Spanish at the link above, and either:
    • mail it to Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission, 2309 Euclid Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310;
    • email a scanned copy to; or
    • fax a copy to (515) 237-1408.
  • If you need a physical copy of a human rights complaint form, we can also mail one to you. Please contact us via telephone or email.

Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on this page.

Public Safety Services

Last updated: 11/6/2020

Des Moines Police Department
While the Des Moines Police Department will remain open and fully staffed 24/7 with patrol services unchanged, anyone wishing to file a police report should do so by calling the non-emergency number, (515) 283-4811. Visiting the police department to file a report will not expedite services. 

If you have an emergency, please dial 911. For all other matters, find DMPD’s frequently called numbers online.

Normal parking meter enforcement resumed on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Des Moines Fire Department
While the Des Moines Fire Department will remain open and fully staffed 24/7 with fire protection, emergency medical and related services unchanged,  residents with non-emergency questions can reach the DMFD by calling the non-emergency number, (515) 283-4811.

If you have an emergency, please dial 911.

Engineering Bids

Last updated: 11/9/2020

Notice to Bidders of City of Des Moines Public Improvement Projects: Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 5 p.m., all Engineering bidding documents will only be available on our website and the City has set new guidelines for submitting proposals.