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Gov. Kim Reynolds Speaks on Disaster Declaration; COVID and Schools Going Virtual

Noon News 081120

Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation in response to a severe weather system that moved across Iowa and caused widespread damage August 10.

The proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather in Boone, Clinton, Dallas, Johnson, Marshall, and Story counties. The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for Dallas, Johnson, Marshall, and Story counties.  

Governor Reynolds also addressed the guidelines for schools to go to virtual because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  She was asked if school districts would have any leeway when asking for waivers to go virtual if they are not quite up to the 15 percent positivity rate for their community. 

“We have to put that in context, whether is it due to a prison, due to a long-term care facility that might not impact the school districts in a way that that positivity rate might indicate."

Students in the Sioux City School District will start the new school year with a hybrid learning plan. It will combine in-class and online learning.

After hours of debate last night, the school board unanimously approved the “Return to Learn” hybrid plan. The plan has a three-week maximum and the board would need to approve an extension if Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman asks for it.  

Gausman said the length of the hybrid session will depend on the local level of Covid-19 cases. Students with last names beginning with A through M attend class Monday and Thursday while N through Z attend Tuesday and Thursday.

Masks or face shields are required for students to ride the school bus and enter school facilities.  School begins in Sioux City on August 25th. 

Iowa has reported 49,186 total cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19: and 935 deaths. 

Woodbury County has tallied 3,728 cases and 52 deaths.

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