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Noon News 10.14.20: Record Hospitalizations in IA, Denver Flight and New Election Website

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Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to rise in Iowa, hitting another daily record. 

Statewide there are 473 hospitalized, including 63 at Sioux City’s two hospitals.  That is down by a half dozen  from the day before. 

The President and CEO of UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Lynn Wold says his facility has been seeing a second surge of patient for weeks after treating a low of one or two patients in the middle of August.

“We have very few patients on ventilators.  That’s a good thing.  The way the disease is showing up here with patients at St. Luke’s it’s not as severe as it was this spring.”

Wold says with the upcoming flu season there’s a new level of concern so he advises people to wear masks and get immunized against influenza.

You can hear more from Wold this afternoon during All Things Considered.

The first direct flight from Denver to Sioux City in several years arrives at the Sioux Gateway Airport this afternoon.  The United Airlines flight operated by SkyWest is scheduled to touchdown around 4:30.  An open house and ribbon cutting with city leaders takes place at 4 p.m.  The last time there was direct service from Sioux City to Denver was when Frontier left the market in the fall of 2014.   

The Sioux Gateway Airport is an underwriter of Siouxland Public Media.

Hospitalizations, virus spread and deaths continue at high levels in Iowa on the eve of a campaign rally by President Donald Trump, where Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and thousands of other Trump supporters are expected to gather in defiance of the governor’s own emergency proclamation. The event also is expected to contradict guidance given by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to limit crowd sizes. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Megan Srinivas says the rally is “one of the riskiest things we can do in the setting of the pandemic." Officials at Des Moines International Airport, where the event will be held inside a cargo hangar, have been told to plan for up to 10,000 people.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst has enthusiastically supported Donald Trump throughout his presidency. As Trump visits Iowa Wednesday, Ernst is finding her reelection bid tied directly to his in a state where the president’s support has eroded significantly as voters have harshly assessed his handling of the pandemic. Ernst is locked in a close race against Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield. She is now balancing her support for Trump with a more moderate tone as Iowa voters show strong signs of returning to their decades-long swing-state form. 

Woodbury County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Pat Gill announced a new election website.

Gill says the site will be easier to navigate to find election information, register to vote for find a form to request an absentee ballot. 

It can also be accessed through the website for Woodbury County.

News release from Woodbury County:

Sioux City – Woodbury County voters have a new user-friendly website to find all their election information.

Woodbury County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Pat Gill announced that https://elections.woodburycountyiowa.gov is now online.

Gill said the site will be easier to navigate to find election information, register to vote or find a form to request an absentee ballot.

“We’ve been working for some time on ways to improve displaying information about elections on our Woodbury County site,” Gill said. “We believe that voters will find everything they need in a user-friendly format at this site.”

Gill said the site also includes past election information and a section listing officials voted on by Woodbury County voters. The site also converts to a mobile format for those looking up information on their mobile device or tablet.

“Neapolitan Labs presented us with a great platform for this site that was affordable, and they have been great to work with,” Gill said. “We encourage Woodbury County voters to check out the site and find how clean it looks and how easy it is to use.”

He said voters who go to the Woodbury County website, www.woodburycountyiowa.gov, for election information will be redirected to the new elections site.

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