News 6.22.20: One More C19 Death in Dakota County, Unemployment Extended, Crop Report and More
One more death was reported in the Sioux City metro area on Monday due to COVID-19. The Dakota County Health Department isn’t releasing information about the person’s age or gender. There have been a total of 34 deaths and 1,753 positive cases. There were no new cases in Dakota County. Siouxland District Health reported 8 new positive cases for a total of 3,068 according to the Iowa coronavirus website. There have been 42 deaths. There are 117 positive cases in Union County.
Tonight, the Sioux City Superintendent of Schools plans to release a draft Return-to-Learn plan for students in the Sioux City Community School District.
Dr. Paul Gausman invited parents to listen in tonight at 6 when he presents his plan for the fall to the school board.
Gausman says extensive work has gone into developing the “Return-to-Learn” plan through focus groups and surveys. The Iowa Department of Education would need to approve the district’s plan.
The number of new positive coronavirus cases has increased significantly in recent days as the state surpasses 26,000 positive cases and deaths are approaching 700. Data from the Iowa Department of Public Safety shows total positive cases Sunday increased by 441 cases from Saturday’s total at the same time. Nearly 300 new positive cases were reported Saturday and 389 on Friday.
Data posted by public health officials Monday indicated 26,048 Iowans now test positive, an increase of 183 cases in 24 hours.
One additional person died, bringing the state total to 686 deaths.
Also Monday, the University of Iowa Athletic Department reported its testing last week of student-athletes, coaches and staff found nine testing positive, bringing the athletic department’s total to 12 positive tests.
Nebraska will extend its unemployment benefits for the first time in nearly 40 years in response to the mass layoffs triggered by the pandemic.
The Nebraska Department of Labor says it will provide up to an additional 13 weeks for eligible recipients who have exhausted their regular or pandemic unemployment benefits. The extended benefits were triggered when the state unemployment rate hit 5.2% during the week of June 14.
Labor department officials said they’ll notify recipients who are eligible and will issue application instructions. The weekly benefit amount is the same as what people received for regular unemployment.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has announced she’ll be sending $200 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to city and county governments. But she says the economic impact of the pandemic could last for years. The Republican governor visited Sioux Falls to explain that cities and counties will be able to access the funds based on their population. The state has received $1.25 billion from the federal government as part of a relief package aimed at addressing the coronavirus. The governor is still hoping part of the money can be used to make up losses in tax revenue due to the economic downturn.
Tyson Foods is looking into reports that China’s customs agency has suspended poultry imports from a Tyson facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees. A Tyson spokesman says the plant in question is in Springdale, Arkansas.
The spokesman said that all global and U.S. health organizations agree that there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
The announcement out of China Sunday gave no details of the quantity of meat affected.
Iowa farmers had roughly 4 and a half days suitable for fieldwork last week. Today’s weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says activities included finishing up planting, harvesting hay and hauling grain. There were several reports though, that farmers found it difficult to spray their crops due to constant winds during the week.
The condition of Iowa’s corn crop is 85% good to excellent. Soybeans are 84% good to excellent.
Another Nebraska prison inmate has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said the new case was reported at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. So far, a total of eight inmates and 20 employees in the state prison system have tested positive for COVID-19. State officials said anyone who had close contact with the inmate who tested positive will be told to quarantine themselves. Statewide, 17,707 cases of coronavirus and 244 deaths linked to the virus have been reported. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks.