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PM News 9.4.20: SCCS COVID-19 Update, Online Class Lawsuit and IA Absentee Ballots

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District reports a dozen positive cases of COVID-19 from students and staff this week.

Five students and seven staff members, according to a weekly update.  

A news release says Siouxland District Health conducted contact tracing and anyone in close contact has been told to self-isolate or quarantine.

School officials will not talk about specific cases or schools impacted.

The district plans to resume fulltime in-class learning for students starting next week.  Virtual learning is still available.  That was the option chosen by 30% of students in the school district at the start of the academic year.

A Polk County judge says he will decide next week whether to allow the Des Moines school district to temporarily move completely to online classes rather than comply with a state order intended to ensure children return to at least partial in-person classes.

The judge says he hopes to reach a decision on the temporary injunction by Tuesday, when school is supposed to resume for the 33,000 students in the Des Moines district.

The district has filed a lawsuit, saying Iowa law gives local school board control over how children are educated and that it’s not safe to hold in-person classes at a time when hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases are reported every day in Iowa. A similar case is also proceeding in Johnson County. 

The Iowa Secretary of State is sending absentee ballot request forms to all active registered voters in Iowa this weekend. Secretary Paul Pate says it’s to encourage voting from home as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Iowans who want to vote by mail in the presidential election can fill out the request form and send it to their county auditor in the pre-paid envelope that’s provided.

Voters here in Woodbury County will have to send a second ballot request if they’re contacted by the county auditor.  County auditors start sending ballots to voters October 5th. Ballot request forms must be received by October 24th.

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