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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 8.28.20: Back to School COVID Cases, Vermillion Business Action, IA Drought and More


During this first week of class for students in the Sioux City Community School District, two staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  That’s according to school officials who say Siouxland District Health did contact tracing and everyone impacted has been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  The district plans to provide the public with positive test updates each Friday and will not disclose specific schools with cases of COVID-19.

Another dozen people battling the disease have died in Iowa for a total of 1,091.  There have been an additional 2,663 confirmed cases as well in a 24-hour period.  The state total of cases is now almost 63,000.  The state coronavirus website showed an increase of 50 cases for Woodbury County.  The death toll remains at 55.

The state says changes in the way it reports data caused the spike in positive data rates

Now, that schools have reopened for the new year we are hearing about more and more positive cases of COVID-19.

The University of South Dakota’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows 129 active cases with students and four employees.  Almost 500 are in quarantine or isolation.

So, bars and restaurants in Vermillion plan to voluntarily close tonight at 10 and each night through the weekend to try and slow the spread of the disease.

The Vermillion Area Chamber put a video message on social media featuring President and CEO Nate Welch.

The University of Iowa on Friday reported 500 new cases among students during the first week of classes. 

Meanwhile, this week Morningside College disclosed 3 students tested positive for the novel coronavirus and others are in quarantine.  Briar Cliff University reported one last week.  Western Iowa Tech today reports one student tested positive. 

The Santee Community School District in Nebraska will stay closed through September 7th according to a post on school’s Facebook page after several staff and students tested positive.  Early this week, the school said they would be closed through Friday after a student was diagnosed with the disease.

Big Ten coaches, athletic directors and medical personnel are working on multiple plans for staging a football season —  including one that would have the league kicking off as soon as Thanksgiving weekend. A person with direct knowledge of the conference's discussions told The Associated Press the conference is in the early stages of a complicated process that also involves broadcast partners and possible neutral site venues. The Big Ten announced on Aug. 11 it was postponing its fall football season and has faced push back and criticism ever since.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows an increase in drought across a majority of the state.

The state climatologist says the rate is the highest since 2013. 

Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

Weather experts say the short-term forecast shows cooler and wetter conditions on the way.

Iowa farmers have been hit hard this year with widespread drought, especially in areas west of central Iowa and from the major wind storm on August 10th. Meanwhile, assessment teams are working through the state to find out how many millions of acres of crops were impacted.

Eastern Iowa faces a slight chance of severe storms with the potential for isolated damaging winds and large hail.

The storm system is expected to impact roughly the same area that was hit by a rare derecho two weeks ago.

The Nebraska State Fair is kicking off under scaled-down conditions as organizers seek to provide a safe venue during a global pandemic. The annual fair started today in Grand Island, focusing on 4-H and FFA events where young people will show livestock. While there will be a handful of food vendors and some other displays and events, some of the usual offerings won’t be around this year. That includes music concerts, rodeos and the midway with its carnival rides. On the plus-side, there is no cost to be admitted this year, and parking is free.

Stories included from the Associated Press

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