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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 10.2.20: C-19 Increase for Siouxland States, Gov. Reynolds Visit, Skateboarder Killed and More

Twitter/Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa posted more than 1,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the third straight day as the coronavirus continued to aggressively spread in many areas of the state, including northwest Iowa.

State public health data posted this morning showed 1,142 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours with over 90,700 cases now identified since March.

The state posted nine additional deaths for a total of 1,367.  There was one more death recorded in Woodbury County on the state coronavirus website for 69 in all. 

Iowa averaged nearly 900 cases a day in the past week. As of Friday, 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties have a positivity rate exceeding 5%, the rate at which many public health experts recommend a mask mandate.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has rejected such a mandate. 

The governor is in northwest Iowa today.  She dropped by the Frank LeMere Hope Street House in Sioux City before visiting a TestIA Clinic in Le Mars and a farm in Sutherland.  This afternoon she will be in Sibley at 1015 Steak Company and then another family farm in Alvord located in Lyon County. 

Credit Twitter/Governor Kim Reynolds

When it comes to COVID-19 Nebraska's online tracking portal says the state is seeing a sharp jump in the number of confirmed cases as well.

Nebraska officials reported 621 new cases on Thursday evening, up from 520 the previous day.  There are 25 new cases in Dakota County with a total of 44 deaths and 2,228 cases in all.

The number of daily cases is up from where it was in September and this summer. So far, 493 peopled have died from the virus. Nebraska has confirmed 46,185 cases since the pandemic began.

The hardest-hit counties continue to be Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy, the state’s most populated areas. The state portal shows that 29% of Nebraska’s hospital beds are available for virus patients, as are 26% of the intensive care units and 78% of the ventilators.

South Dakota health officials have reported all-time highs with 13 deaths and 747 more people who tested positive.  The state epidemiologist says communities statewide, from cities to rural areas are seeing significant levels of the virus.

One of the largest outbreaks came from a women’s prison in Pierre as mass testing revealed that 29 more women in one housing unit had the virus. A total of 197 prisoners and staff have tested positive and 110 have recovered.

The Iowa Supreme Court is being urged by Democrats and a Latino civil rights group to block a new Republican-backed law that could leave thousands of requesters without absentee ballots. Majority Forward, a group aligned with Senate Democrats, and the League of Latino United Citizens have asked the high court to put the new law on hold immediately. They’re appealing a ruling released Monday in Johnson County, where a judge declined to block the new law. He found the law would likely survive judicial review, claiming that requests for absentee ballots do not implicate the fundamental right to vote.

The Sioux City police investigating after a deadly accident on the westside of the city last night.

It happened around 6:30 at the intersection of West 4th and Leonard.

A thirteen-year old girl riding her skateboard as killed.  Officers say it appears the teen didn’t stop at a stop sign before entering West 4th.  She was hit by a pickup.  The name of the victim isn’t being released yet.  So, far no charges have been filed against the 57-year-old man who was driving the pickup.

A new study shows that the agricultural economy in Nebraska remains resilient despite some recent down years. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln released the 2017 Economic Impact of the Nebraska Agricultural Production Complex report. The report uses 2017 data because that was the year of the most recent Census of Agriculture. The report found that agriculture accounts for nearly 34% of business sales, 22% of the gross state product and nearly a quarter of the state’s jobs. Those figures were reported even though 2017 was the lowest-income year for Nebraska farmers and ranchers of the decade.

The Holiday Tour of Homes has been a Sioux City tradition for 4 decades and a big event to support Big Brothers and Big Sisters. 

But, how do you still hold such an gathering with the COVID-19 crisis?

“We really had to get creative and think out of the box.  I had a melt down because I was thinking how are we going to do this because what homeowner wants thousands of people to go through their house during a pandemic?

That’s Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Siouxland, Kristie Arlt.

This year the Tour of Homes will take place at the newly renovated Warrior Hotel in downtown Sioux City November 19th through the 21st.

The number of people attending a tour will be reduce to provide social distancing and everyone must wear a mask.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.
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