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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 10.26.20: Record Hospitalizations, Sanford Health Proposed Merger, Record Snow and October Snow

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SPM NEWS 10.26.20 - 404PM

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infection continues to break records for all three Siouxland States. 

The number of people hospitalized statewide in Iowa with the virus increased to 561 on Monday, including 62 in Sioux City’s two facilities. 

Iowa had 677 new confirmed cases Monday with 60 in Woodbury County.  Siouxland District Health also says one more person in Woodbury County died for a total of 97; a man between the ages of 18 and 40.  Since the start of the pandemic 1,645 Iowans have died of complications of COVID-19.

Nebraska officials say health care providers and elderly and vulnerable residents will be first in line to get a coronavirus vaccination when it becomes available as early as this year. Gov. Pete Ricketts and public health officials say they plan to give those groups top priority in their plans to distribute their limited share of the vaccine, once it’s developed and shipped. The announcement came as Nebraska sees a record number of people hospitalized because of the coronavirus. The number of new virus-related hospitalizations jumped to a record-high 436 on Saturday.

Dakota County Health officials report 39 new cases for almost 2,600 and 46 deaths.                  

South Dakota health officials are reporting 11 hospitalizations in the last day due to the coronavirus, boosting the total number of patients in medical facilities to a record 377. The update released Monday showed 538 new cases of COVID-19, following two straight days in which the state topped 1,000 positive tests.

A total of 38,504 people have been diagnosed with the virus since the start of the pandemic. The number of fatalities remained at 375 with no new deaths reported Monday. State Department of Health figures show that more than 35% of inpatient hospital beds are available statewide, as well as nearly 32% of intensive care unit beds.

South Dakota’s coronavirus website shows “substantial community spread” in all counties located in Siouxland, including Union where there have been 725 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.

Today, the CEO of Sanford Health announced Sanford is planning to merge with Intermountain Health based in Salt Lake City.  It is the state of Utah’s largest private employer. Sanford is South Dakota’s largest private employer.

This announcement comes a year after Sanford’s proposed merger with UnityPoint Health, based in Des Moines, fell apart after UnityPoint’s board voted against the merger.

More than 900,000 Iowans have requested absentee ballots for the November election.  More than 750,000 cast their ballots according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. The rate of early voting four-years ago was about 400,000.

Parts of Iowa and Nebraska saw record-breaking snow over the weekend.  About three inches fell in Sioux City, breaking the previous record by .7 inches set back in 1918.  Other communities breaking records include Norfolk with four inches and

Ocheyendan with more than six inches.

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