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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 5.11.20: More Local C-19 Deaths, Primary Election Update and Mall Reopening

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Iowa Department of Public Health
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Three more people have died of complications of COVID-19 in the Sioux City metro area. The Dakota County Health Department isn’t releasing details on the two people who died.  An older man between the ages of 61 and 80 passed away in Woodbury County. Sixteen people have died in the Sioux City area since the start of the pandemic.

There were 48 new cases in Woodbury County and 45 in Dakota County for a total of more than 3,100 positive cases for both counties.  The next update from Dakota County will come out on Wednesday.

In, Iowa there were six more deaths reported on Monday and 400 new cases.  That brings the statewide total to more than 12,300 positive cases and 271 deaths.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she is taking extra precautions after one of Vice President Mike Pence’s aides tested positive for the coronavirus late last week.  Reynolds did visit the White House on Wednesday, Pence then came to Iowa two days after.

Reynolds tested negative this morning and says she is healthy and feeling good.

Reynolds will do a “modified quarantine plan” that includes daily testing and temperature checks, and having some team members working from home.

The Governor says 80% of people infected with the virus experience mild or no systems of disease.

She says testing through Test Iowa continues in Sioux City.  The test site is located on the campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College.  There is also additional testing being done at long-care facilities and manufacturing plants.

Woodbury County Election Commissioner Pat Gill announced five polling locations for the primary in June.

Gill had favored people voting by mail to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

The number of polling spots was expanded after a lawsuit filed by former state lawmaker Rick Bertrand.  Bertrand claimed absentee ballots favor Democratic candidates.  Bertrand is a Republican.

There are normally 45 polling locations.  The five locations will be Riverside Elementary for precincts 12-21, the Long Lines Family Rec Center for precincts 22-32, the Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School for precincts 33-37.  There are also polling locations at the Moville Community Center and the city hall in Oto.

Gill says about 14,000 absentee ballot request forms have been returned. There are more than 57,000 registered voters in Woodbury County. Absentee ballots are due by 5 p.m. next Friday.

Voters will be asked to social distance when they cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day on June 2nd.

And, the Southern Hills Mall plans to reopen on Wednesday.  However, not all of the stores plan to open.  The hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The mall did issue guidelines for guests; they include practice social distancing from others, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover and do not gather in groups.

The mall also plans to conduct extensive cleaning and disinfection several times a day.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.
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