City of Des Moines to Alter Public Meetings in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

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City of Des Moines COVID-19 response

DES MOINES, IOWA — Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020 — The City of Des Moines is reviewing its schedule and protocols for public meetings in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Frank Cownie leads a senior leadership response team that is monitoring coronavirus developments and the potential impact on meetings, City services and public safety.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of Des Moines residents and city staff,” Cownie said. “As we closely monitor the situation, I can assure you that the City is committed to responding quickly and responsibly while proceeding with care and caution.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the City today postponed until May 14 a joint meeting of the City Council and Civil and Human Rights Commission. The response team is now reviewing and adjusting the City’s public meetings schedules and locations for the next two months.

While temporary changes are being made to public meetings, Mayor Cownie said the City’s daily operations will go on in a normal manner.

“Des Moines Police and Fire Departments will protect and serve with the commitment and dedication we are accustomed. Those departments are already prepared to ensure that our medical direction, EMS responses, supply inventory and communications are coordinated and consistent,” he said. “Beyond public safety, we will still collect your trash each week, street work will go on as scheduled and our public buildings and staff will continue to meet residents’ everyday needs.”

The City has created a coronavirus resource page on its website,, that includes meeting schedules, video messages, updates on City services and links to Polk County and Iowa health departments.

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit , Facebook and Twitter for more information.