PERRY – The Perry Chamber of Commerce will host the Spring Farmers Market, as planned, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 at La Poste. In a recent nationwide communication to market organizers addressing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Farmers Market Coalition makes a case for markets to remain open whenever and wherever possible, as they are “essential to the livelihood of farmers and food access, not just a social gathering.”

The Iowa Department of Public Health released a statement Thursday that “there is currently no known community spread of COVID-19 in Iowa and IDPH is not making any recommendations to cancel planned events and mass gatherings at this time.”

Ongoing monitoring of the situation and increased awareness is essential, as the safety of attendees, vendors, volunteers and the general public is a top priority. A hand sanitizer dispenser will be available at the Farmers Market and attendees are advised to practice social distancing as they see fit – especially those that feel unwell. Older adults and those with chronic health conditions should stay away from others who are sick, limit close contact with others in general, avoid crowds and wash hands often.

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety.

As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines encourage the following preventative actions, which are also applicable to preventing the spread of many viruses:

Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov. Additionally, the City of Perry has created a new page on its website with information and resources for its residents: www.perryia.org/covid-19-coronaviris-information.html