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NEWS 10.7.20: Hospital Surge in IA and Siouxland, New Poll Gives Biden/Greenfield the Edge and More

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Siouxland District Health Department
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Gov. Kim Reynolds acknowledged Iowa is seeing surging numbers of coronavirus cases and record hospitalizations, but she says the health care system could handle the increase and no further action was needed to reduce infections.

There were 444 people being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals as of Wednesday morning, and in the past 24 hours the state had 919 new confirmed positive cases and 15 more deaths.  The biggest increase comes from increased hospitalizations in northwest Iowa, including 62 at Sioux City’s two hospitals, according to Siouxland District Health.

Despite the increases, Reynolds says hospital officials had reported that they were equipped to handle the surge. She emphasized that everyone needed to take personal responsibility, including wearing masks when possible, washing their hands and observing social distancing.

Siouxland District Health reported one more death due to complications of the disease for a total of 74.  The latest person who died is a woman between the ages of 41 and 60.

There were more than 50 new cases for more than 6,000 positive cases in all and a 14-day positivity rate for new cases just below the 15% threshold at 14.8%. 

Anything more than 15% is one criteria set up by the state to allow school districts to apply for on-line learning only.  Experts with Siouxland District Health says it would like to see the rate fall to the lower single digits.

A new poll by Quinnipiac University released today shows Democrats Joe Biden and Theresa Greenfield with 5-point leads in the state of Iowa.

We are 27 days from the election and the former Vice President is ahead with 50% to 45% support.  Greenfield is ahead by the same percentage rate over incumbant U.S. Senator Joni Ernst who was first elected to Congress in 2014.

A poll last week by Nextstar, gave Greenfield a 12-point advantage.

For a second time, Nebraska's largest city has extended a requirement for residents to wear face masks in public to try to slow resurging coronavirus numbers that are putting a strain on area hospitals. Omaha’s City Council voted Tuesday to extend its mask requirement to just before Thanksgiving. It was due to expire on on Oct. 20. Everyone in Omaha is required to wear face coverings in most indoor public spaces where they aren't able to maintain enough distance from others. The vote came as Omaha area hospitals reported that 88% of the hospital beds and 93% of the intensive care beds in Douglas County were full.

The Nebraska prosecutor who declined to file charges after a white bar owner fatally shot a Black man during protests last spring has switched political parties after Democrats criticized his handling of the case. The state GOP says Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine planned to register as a Republican on Wednesday. The Nebraska Democratic Party passed a resolution last month that said Kleine “perpetuated white supremacy” with his comments about 22-year-old James Scurlock, who was shot and killed by Jake Gardner after they scuffled outside of Gardner’s bar. Kleine declined to file charges against Gardner because he said Gardner acted in self-defense. But a grand jury later did charge Gardner, who killed himself in Oregon last month.

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