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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 9.8.20: One More C-19 Death in Woodbury County, Labor Day Weekend Surge, Warrior Hotel Opening

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SPM NEWS 9.8.20 - 5:32PM

One more person has died from complications of COVID-19 in Woodbury County for a total of 58 deaths.  The Iowa Department of public health reports 20 new cases for more than 4,300 in all.  Dakota County is reporting ten more cases.  There have been 43 deaths.

The spread of the coronavirus continued at a rapid pace in Iowa over the Labor Day holiday as state data revealed increases in hospitalizations and rising numbers of patients treated for the virus in intensive care.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported there were 345 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, reflecting a smaller number due to no testing on Labor Day.

Six more people died in a 24-hour period, increasing the total to 1,173.  There were five more deaths reported Tuesday afternoon.

Three counties in northwest Iowa are above the state threshold of 15% for applying for on-line learning only.  They are Sioux, Plymouth and Lyon with almost 19 to 21% positivity in coronavirus testing.  Woodbury County continues to inch upwards with 12.4% as of Tuesday afternoon.

There are more cases at Morningside College in Sioux City according to the college’s COVID-19 Dashboard.  There are 15 students and staff members are currently impacted.  Last week there were four.  The number of people in isolation and quarantine on and off campus is more than 60.  That’s more than double of last week’s numbers.

The number of positive cases at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion has fallen to 92 active cases and 368 in quarantine or isolation.  At one time there were more than 200 positive cases and 600 in quarantine or isolation.

A judge has denied a request from Des Moines Public Schools to block the state’s Return-to-Learn guidelines while a lawsuit goes through the courts.

Those guidelines require schools to teach in-person at least half the time unless the state approves a switch to virtual learning. The Des Moines school board decided to begin the year online starting today (Tuesday), without state approval. 

Polk County District Court Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled that the school board cannot make that decision on its own. Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement the decision is the correct interpretation of the law.

Des Moines Superintendent Thomas Ahart says classes will stay online for most students until further notice. He testified last week that the district’s high schools don’t have enough space to safely distance students against spreading COVID-19.

Nebraska hospitals are asking for more federal aid to help recover financially from the coronavirus.  Nebraska Hospital Association officials say the pandemic has meant increased costs and a decline in revenue for hospitals. The revenue drop is partly because Nebraska temporarily banned elective procedures to save hospital resources when the virus first hit the state.

A new reports shows a 16-year-old Perry girl may not have died if workers with the state Department of Human Services workers had been more diligent. That’s according to a report released today by the state ombudsman

DHS received numerous child abuse reports against Sabrina Ray’s adoptive parents, Marc and Misty Ray, between 2010 and 2015. Several reports detailed how thin and unhealthy Sabrina looked. 

Iowa ombudsman Kristi Hirshman says one family service worker sounded the alarm several times about the conditions at the Ray house .and she was ignored. 

“At one point in time, the Ray family wouldn’t even let her come into the home, to observe the home when she dropped off the foster children from a visit with their parents.”

The Department of Human services say it accepts most of the recommendations to improve its training, communication, and protocols after an extensive investigation into Sabrina Ray’s death.

A judge sentenced Ray’s foster mother Misty Ray to life in prison without the possibility of parole and Marc Ray was sentenced to a total of 80 years in prison. 

A historic hotel in downtown Sioux City that’s been vacant for more than four decades will reopen on Saturday.

Starting this Saturday, people with reservations will be able to stay at the Warrior Hotel.

The Warrior Hotel and the adjacent Davidson building have been renovated into a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel with 148 guest rooms and 22 luxury apartments.

The hotel has a number of amenities: A steakhouse, bars, a bowling alley, a spa and more. Some won’t be open until a few weeks to months from now.

Saturday is a “soft opening” for the hotel. The Davidson apartments will open in November.

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