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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 7.23.20: New C-19 Cases Double in Iowa, IPHA Calls for Mask Mandate, SD Sports and More

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The latest coronavirus figures in Iowa show the number of confirmed cases nearly doubled in the 24-hour period from Wednesday morning to Thursday, pushing the state's total to more than 40,600.   There have been 818 deaths.

Siouxland District Health reported two additional cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County for a total of 3,508 in all, 47 have died.

The Iowa Public Health Association, is calling for a statewide mask mandate.  The nonprofit, nonpartisan group, also wants more flexibility for school as return-to-learn plans evolve this summer.

The association says “The public health crisis is causing stress, fear and uncertainty among parents, teachers and administrators.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Department of Public Health and Governor Kim Reynolds launched a new outreach campaign to encourage Iowans to follow public health mitigation measures, like wearing a cloth face covering in public.

The governor says COVID-19 is far from over and she doesn’t want to go backwards. 

She says residents need to social distance, practice good hygiene and stay home when sick.

Fewer Iowa workers filed claims for unemployment last week. Iowa Workforce Development reports 9,505 people filed for unemployment assistance, including those who work in Iowa but live out-of-state. That’s down from more than 10,000 the week before.

The largest number of claims came from the manufacturing industry.  116,000 Iowans continue to receive unemployment benefits. That’s a drop of 18,000 from the previous week.

Nebraska has also seen a surge of people testing positive for coronavirus this week with 23,500 positive cases and 311 deaths.  Dakota County logged 31 new cases during the past 14 days.

In Nebraska, there are 311 deaths with almost 23,500 positive case and 31 new cases in Dakota County during the past 14 days.

South Dakota reports 58 new case for almost 8,100 and 119 deaths with two deaths in both Union and Yankton counties.  There are 166 positive cases in Union County.

The six public universities in South Dakota are requiring face coverings be work in public indoor spaces for at least a month after classes start.

The announcement came today from the South Dakota  Board of Regents who also released a tiered system for responding to the pandemic.

High school sports in South Dakota will proceed on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors unanimously approved a plan for competitions and practices to proceed.

Along with recommending that schools allow athletics to proceed on schedule, the board suggested that they take some safety precautions, including screening athletes, coaches and support staff and isolating those found to have the disease. 

The plan also recommends a four-tiered system for deciding to allow spectators into sporting events. The first competition is scheduled for Aug. 11.

The South Dakota budget could see revenue shortfalls between $16 million and $40 million during the next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Kristi Noem announced last week that the state budget that wrapped up June 30 had a $19 million surplus.

Revenues were bolstered in part from federal relief money for addressing the coronavirus.

Economic analysts warned lawmakers that as federal stimulus programs expire, sales tax revenue could decrease in the coming months.

The Republican governor has said that a special legislative session may be necessary to adjust the budget.

Attempts to lower Nebraska’s property taxes appeared to stumble yet again after some state lawmakers argued that the newest package could hurt local K-12 schools by restricting their ability to tax.

Senators debated the bill for about three hours but ended up skipping over it without a vote, leaving its prospects unclear.

The only way it’s likely to return to the Legislature’s agenda is if leading supporters can show they have at least 33 votes to overcome a filibuster, a tall order given the opposition to the bill.

Authorities have identified a man who died after becoming trapped in a grain bin in northwest Iowa.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office says 65-year-old Daniel Cronin died Tuesday after becoming trapped in the bin located about five miles east of Le Mars.

Officials said deputies and other first-responders were called Tuesday morning to the grain bin for a report of a man trapped.

Investigators say Cronin had been loosening stuck corn when the crust broke, and he sank into the grain.

Officials say the accident happened despite the use of safety measures. Officials say Cronin had died by the time his body was recovered about an hour after rescuers arrived.

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