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News 8.3.20: Woodbury County C-19 Deaths, NE Education Plan, Sioux City Summer School and More


The number of deaths in Woodbury County due to complications of COVID-19 has now reached 50, according to Siouxland District Health.  The health department reported the two who died were a middle-aged woman between the ages of 41 and 60 and an older man between 61 and 80-years old.

However, the state coronavirus website showed another death for a total of 51 in Woodbury County.

There have been a dozen deaths in Buena Vista County, eight in Plymouth, four in Dickinson and 2 in Sioux and one in O’Brien, Emmet, Clay, Cherokee and Pocahontas. 

There have been no deaths in Lyon, Osceola, Ida, Sac and Palo Alto Counties.

Woodbury County is tracking eight new cases for a total of 3,650.  The Iowa total is more than 45,800 and 882 deaths.

Woodbury County is tracking eight new cases for a total of 3,650.  The Iowa total is more than 45,800 and 882 deaths.

Meanwhile, South Dakota reports more than 9,000 confirmed cases, with 65 new cases and 199 in Union County.  There have been 135 deaths.

Nebraska shows 332 deaths and more than 26,700 positive cases with 30 new ones in Dakota County during the past 14 days.  There are 1,875 in all in Dakota County and 42 deaths.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says he remains confident the benefits of reopening schools this fall outweigh the risks presented by the pandemic and that he thinks students can safely return to classrooms. 

Ricketts says it’s important to reopen schools because of the academic, social, behavioral and nutritional benefits of having kids in class.

Ricketts and the state education commissioner says schools across the state have developed detailed plans to keep children safe while reopening after consulting with local health officials and the state.

Many districts are also offering parents a stay-at-home virtual option.

Meanwhile, the Sioux City Community School District started in-person summer school for certain grades; including first, second and eight and some high school students enrolled in specific math classes.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded South Dakota $6.8 million to support the state’s efforts in serving students during the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath.

Thirty-nine states applied for funding, only 11 states, including South Dakota, were awarded grants.

Education officials say the three-year grant will help the state further develop its customized or personalized learning model to keep more students engaged during distanced instruction.

The grant money will help a group of 30 schools pursue new course options in personalized education and provide coursework for more than 1,600 South Dakota teachers and principals.

The Sioux City Police Department will bring forward a proposal this afternoon to the City Council on Monday requesting 120 body cameras.

The cost?  More than $260,000.

Proposals for body cameras have come up in multiple city budget sessions in the past. But they haven’t been prioritized until the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Mayor Bob Scott expects unanimous support. 

Iowa faith leaders are calling on Gov. Reynolds to issue a mandatory mask order.

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa held a news conference to call on Governor Kim Reynolds to sign a proclamation immediately for a statewide mandate to wear a mask inside all public places and outside when unable to social distance by at least six feet.

A new poll shows more than twice as many Iowans say they trust their local government when it comes to COVID-19 safety information compared to the Federal government.

The Iowa Capitol Dispatch reports the poll taken about one month ago, also found Iowans were worried about a spike in new cases this summer, which is happening in some places.  And, most expect the economic recover to last more than a year.

South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, is bracing to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to attend the Aug. 7 to Aug. 16 rally in western South Dakota, which could make it the biggest event anywhere since the coronavirus pandemic started. The event will offer businesses that depend on the rally a chance to make up losses after the downturn in tourism spending. But many of Sturgis' roughly 7,000 residents are leery about the brimming bars and bacchanalia coming their way and say it shouldn't go on during a pandemic.

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