News 6.10.20: COVID-19 Update, Dickinson County Increase, Higher Education Reopening & No State Fair
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is easing more restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Reynolds says starting Friday at 8 a.m., businesses like restaurants, bars and theatres can operation at 100% capacity.
They must still follow social distancing guidelines.
“Eliminating that capacity restrictions will allow businesses the flexibility to adjust their specific operations accordingly, to best meet the needs of their employees and customers.”
Reynolds cays the virus is trending downward in the state and testing is increasing. One in 16 Iowans have been tested. The rate is higher in Woodbury County according to local health officials.
The top health official in Iowa still encourages anyone older than 65 or with health risks to stay home. If you are sick or have been exposed to the disease. You should quarantine for 14 days.
In Iowa there have been more than 22,600 positive cases of COVID-19 and 631 death according to information from the state’s coronavirus website at 4 p.m. Woodbury County has reported almost 3,000 cases and 38 deaths. There have been 30 deaths in Dakota County.
A northwest Iowa county known for its summer tourism is seeing a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases.
Before Memorial Day, Dickinson County had 7 COVID-19 cases. Now the county has more than 80.
Mitch Watters is on the Arnolds Park City Council. He says the region is getting busy, which is great for businesses and the economy. But he says he’s also seen a lot of people in town not wearing masks or social distancing.
“We need the tourism to survive in a small community the size of Arnolds Park, but yet we also need to practice the social distancing.”
The county board of supervisors in April required people traveling from at least 100 miles away to self-quarantine for 14 days. But as COVID-19 inched closer to the county, the board felt it wasn’t enforceable.
Both Sioux City hospitals are providing care for 65 COVID-19 patients. That number has held steady for several days.
South Dakota health officials report 92 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to almost 4,200 (4,177) infections. There were no new deaths to report, leaving the statewide toll at 46.
Minnehaha County, South Dakota’s most populous county, continues to lead the state in infections, with 3,182 cases and 40 deaths.
For the first time since World War, there will not be an Iowa State Fair due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of discussions, the state fair board held a final vote on this year’s event.
Iowa State, the University of Northern Iowa, and Western Iowa Tech have released updated plans to return to campus in the fall.
The universities are allowing a blend of in-person and virtual classes and will start their fall semesters a week early.
Western Iowa Tech will hold “flex courses” with as much content as possible happening face-to-face and some content held online. Classes will start on August 25th and end on December 22.
Crews in downtown Sioux City working to repair two water main breaks in downtown Sioux City.
One happened at the intersection of 7th and Water Street the other on Pierce Street near the Orpheum theatre.
Des Moines Black Lives Matter protesters were in the statehouse today to highlight their demands for state government.
They want lawmakers to pass police reforms, decriminalize cannabis, and end juvenile detention. And they want Governor Kim Reynolds to immediately restore felon voting rights with an executive order.
Protest leader Matthew Bruce says lawmakers don’t seem like they’re ready to do the work of ending racist violence.
“They seem like they’re ready to give us lip service, tell us that they feel our pain, but when it comes to actually going in and holding their colleagues to the fire, they seem very, very, very reluctant to actually do work on the issue.”
Lawmakers have been negotiating a plan for police reforms but haven’t voted on it. Bruce was also seeking a meeting with Reynolds, but her staff directed the protesters to request an appointment online.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday she is appealing to President Donald Trump’s administration in her standoff with two American Indian tribes over coronavirus checkpoints they set up on federal and state highways.
Noem says she sent affidavits and video to the White House, the Department of Justice, the Interior Department and her state’s congressional delegation, asking for help resolving the dispute.
The tribes set up the checkpoints last month to keep unnecessary visitors off the reservations. Earlier this month, Noem threatened to sue the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe if they did not remove highway stops within 48 hours. She backed away from that plan last week, offering to negotiate if they would take them off of U.S. and state highways.