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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 6.17.20: IA Outbreaks, C-19 Misunderstanding, Art Center Update and More


Nine more deaths have been reported due to complications of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa.  A total of 670 have died during the pandemic.  350 are residents of long-term care facilities.

There are outbreaks currently at 35 facilities including four in Siouxland. Two are in Buena Vista County. The Iowa Department of Public Health also reported three cases at Pleasant View Home in Albert City and Good Samaritan Society-Newell.  There are 10 cases at Accura Healthcare of Milford in Dickinson County and Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City had 26 positive cases with 22 residents who have recovered.

An outbreak occurs when three or more cases are identified among residents of a facility.

Sioux City’s two hospitals recorded their lowest combined number of COVID-19 patients on Tuesday since they started releasing the data in early May.

They were caring for 47 patients. Together they have served almost 400 from more than 10 counties in the tri-state area.

Siouxland District Health reported two addition positive coronavirus cases for a total of 3,021.  Statewide there are almost 24,400 (24,379) cases.  There were no new deaths in Woodbury County so the death toll stands at 41.

Veterans who fly to Washington D.C. to see their service memorials on so-called Honor Flights will have to wait until next year.

The national board of directors has canceled all trips until 2021 due to concern over COVID-19.

The trips began in 2005 to take World War Two veterans to see their newly-dedicated memorial at no cost to them. 

A leading health official in Nebraska says there is a great misunderstanding of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ali Khan, the Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center says “uncontrolled transmission” of the virus is happening in the state.

While, new cases are dropping, Khan told a TV station in Omaha, the number is still high and could increase. 

Nationwide, Khan says cases seem to be at a plateau with 20,000 new cases being reported daily.

Khan says government officials need to test and trace cases to prevent the spread of the disease.

Anyone in contact with a positive person needs to quarantine.

He also, says masks do work so it’s important to wear them when you are out and about in the community.

Khan also says there is promising news for a potential treatment, a common steroid drug called dexamethasone.

The Sioux City Art Center says the facility is still weeks away from a tentative reopening date.  The director of the facility says there will be no summer art camps or any other multi-week classes.  The education department of the Art Center is working on developing online classes that will be available later in the summer.  You can find dozens of videos posted on social media and work is being done to create take-home art projects for hundreds of preschool children in the Community Action Agency’s Head Start program. 

The Art Center says currently they do plan on going forward with the annual ArtSlpash outdoor art festival on Labor Day Weekend.  An official announcement is expected in early July.  And, plans could change with little warning.  Organizers want to make the festival as fun and safe as possible.

Meanwhile, a special inflatable sculpture called “Luminarium” planned for late June has been postponed.

The roar of motorcycles will return to the Black Hills this summer.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be held, but with some major modifications.

The Sturgis City Council voted to proceed with preparations for the Aug. 7-16 rally that's now in its 80th year.

The event draws hundreds of thousands of motorcycle fans.

The council voted 8-1 to allow the rally to take place, but without the usual parade, opening ceremony and B-1 bomber flyover.

The decision comes after weeks of public comment and debate on whether to hold the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Attorney General for Nebraska said in a news release Tuesday that the men, who are not in custody, were indicted at different times in 2016 and 2019, but that the indictments were under seal until Tuesday. Investigators say the men are accused of scams that included posing as company executives to order company employees to wire company money for a business purpose. Another scam involved starting online romances with victims, who were then asked to wire money to the scammers’ bank accounts.

Prosecutors in Omaha are dropping misdemeanor charges against scores of people who were arrested for violating a curfew during protests two weeks ago. The decision comes too late for at least six people who have already pleaded guilty or no contest to the charge and were sentenced to seven days in jail. Some 200 protesters were arrested in late May and early June. Mayor Jean Stothert and City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse said Monday that the charges against those with no criminal history will be dropped, and bail refunded. Those with a criminal history will get pretrial diversion or a $50 fine.

Federal prosecutors have announced fraud charges against six Nigerian men accused of scamming two Nebraska businesses and two Nebraska residents and attempting to steal more than $6 million.


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