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News 8.18.20: More than 1000 C-19 Deaths in Iowa, Reporting Glitch Update and More


The state of Iowa has passed a grime milestone during the COVID-19 pandemic.  More than 1,000 Iowans have died from complications from the disease, 16 more in a 24-hour period.  There were 600 new cases reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health as well.

Siouxland District Health is no longer providing daily reports of new COVID-19 cases in Woodbury County after concerns surrounding a glitch in the state’s reporting system.

This comes after Iowa’s coronavirus website made the pandemic look less severe because of a software error that lowered the number of new confirmed cases.

Starting today, Siouxland District Health will provide information on the number of cases, deaths, hospitalizations and recoveries from the disease.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports a running total of 3,843 positive cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County.  That is nine more than the day before.  There have been 54 deaths.  There are 16 people hospitalized.

A few counties in northwest Iowa are closing in on threshold needed to allow school districts to apply for a waiver to go to all on-line learning.

Governor Reynolds set the two-week testing positivity rate at 15%.  The state coronavirus website shows Plymouth County with 14.4%.  Woodbury County is now half-way over the threshold at 7.8%.  Osceola Count is at 13.4%, Palo Alto 13.1, Sioux, Lyon and Clay stand at 11.2%.  Buena Vista one of the previous hot spots for infection is at 5%.  The county with the lowest positivity rate for testing is Monona County with almost 2%.

For updated percentages click here. The numbers did change Wednesday afternoon with Plymouth County going above 15%.  The rates for other counties fell.

The Iowa Department of Public health still hasn’t publicly acknowledged a major issue with reporting new cases discovered by a nurse practitioner in Iowa City.  It’s also unclear if the number are impacted by an underreporting of negative tests at a clinic in Webster County.

A clinic there failed to report up to 3,000 negative test results.  The new information dramatically reduced the county’s 14-day positivity rate, the state is using to determine whether school districts must return for at least 50% in-person instruction.

President Donald Trump has promised to approve $180 million in aid for damaged Iowa homes and infrastructure and additional funding for farmers who were affected by an unusually powerful storm that tore through the state last week. During a brief stop in Iowa on Tuesday, Trump attended a disaster recovery briefing at the airport in Cedar Rapids, which was hit hard by the Aug. 10 derecho that caused extensive damage to the state. On Monday, Trump signed a portion of Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ disaster relief request that covers extensive debris removal and repairs to public buildings, streets and bridges in 16 counties. That portion of the request totaled about $45 million.

This year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally drew over 460,000 vehicles during the 10-day event, according to a count released by South Dakota transportation officials. The count is a decrease of nearly 8% from last year, but showed that many were undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic. Sturgis officials said they expected fewer people to show up this year, estimating they would see between 250,000 and 300,000 people. Most people didn’t take significant precautions against COVID-19 infections at this year’s rally. A few people wore masks and some said they were avoiding crowds, but many others packed close together at bars and rock shows.

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