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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 9.21.20: High C-19 Positivity Rates in Northwest IA, Nursing Home Rates and More


The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 and one death due to complications of the disease.

More than 80,600 have tested positive during the pandemic with 1,267 deaths.

Woodbury County is above the 15% threshold when it comes to the 14-day test positivity rate.

That is one of the criteria set by the state to allow a school district to apply for online learning only.  Sioux County is at top with almost 30%.  Other northwest Iowa counties above the 15% threshold are Lyon, Osceola, Plymouth, Sac and Ida.

Siouxland District Heath reported 58 new cases in Woodbury County during a 24-hour period.  There are 32 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Dakota County recorded 34 new confirmed cases for 2,154 in all and 43 deaths.

More than 40% of the deaths linked to the coronavirus in Nebraska have been at nursing homes. A total of 185 deaths linked to the virus have been reported at nursing homes in the state, which is reporting 442 deaths overall.

A federal database shows that 31 nursing homes in the state have reported deaths linked to the coronavirus. State officials have refused to name individual nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks to protect residents’ privacy. The federal data revealed that nine nursing homes in the state had 10 or more residents die with coronavirus, accounting for 116 deaths.

Iowa state officials do release information about outbreaks in nursing homes.  There are currently three facilities currently impacted in northwest Iowa with two in Plymouth County, and one in O’Brien.  More than half of the deaths in Iowa come from long-term care facilities.

A national gun control advocacy group says it is targeting eight key races with digital ads and mailers seeking to help Democrats win back control of the Iowa House. Everytown for Gun Safety, the group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, says it will spend $800,000 opposing five incumbent Republicans seeking re-election and three running for open seats. The ads criticize the Republican candidates for their party’s work to pass weaker gun laws, such as one recently signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds that limits the ability of municipalities to ban firearms in public buildings.

Joe Biden is using a campaign cash advantage over President Donald Trump to add Republican-leaning Iowa and Georgia to his paid media footprint, bringing the Democratic challenger’s television and digital battleground map to an even dozen states.

The expansion reflects Biden’s newfound status as a fundraising behemoth and his campaign’s longstanding promise to set up “multiple paths” to the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. The Biden campaign confirmed the Democrats’ joint financial operation had $466 million cash on hand to begin September; Trump and the GOP had $325 million.