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News 10.28.20: Record Hospitalizations in Iowa, Trump Rally Fallout, Dordt Update and More

Associated Press

SPM NEWS 10.28.20 - 4:04PM

More Iowans than ever before have been hospitalized due to complications of COVID-19.  The current number, according to the state coronavirus website is 596 including 75 at Sioux City’s two facilities.  The statewide rate of hospitalizations is more than 30% higher than peak during the spring.

Twenty-two have died from the virus in the past 24-hours with more than 1,800 testing positive.

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Theresa Greenfield, paused campaign events today after a staffer was exposed to the disease. 

Greenfield was expected to make several stops in Siouxland Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson says Greenfield gets regular tests and is getting tested again to be safe and she’s eager to get back on her tour.

Greenfield is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst.

Elections officials in Iowa are worried about the state’s rising number of coronavirus cases, saying that any illnesses or absences among key workers and volunteers could hinder their services through Election Day.

A week before the election, Iowa is reporting a new high 7-day average of about 1,300 daily infections, record numbers of hospitalizations and a surge in deaths.

County elections commissioners say they hope the virus does not sideline any of their small full-time staffs and experienced poll workers. Officials warn any unexpected absences or last-minute substitutes could lead to delays and long lines, particularly because social distance will be required for those waiting.

Dordt University in Sioux Center plans to end in-person classes on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Radio Iowa reports the school’s president says leaving campus and traveling over the holiday break increases the likelihood students and employees will come in contact with COVID-19.

He says this is the safest course of action for the students and the community’s well-being.

The renovation of Sioux City’s first auditorium by LAMB Theatre received a major boost.  Work is currently underway at the building located at 625 Douglas.  The Bluestem Fund is providing $500,000 for the project that will be the future home of LAMB Theatre.  The project opening for the new location is the fall/winter of 2022. 

Police in Omaha, Nebraska, say at least seven people who attended an airport rally for President Donald Trump were taken to hospitals. Many of the estimated 25,000 at Tuesday night's event at Eppley Airfield were left stranded miles from their parked cars in freezing weather. `Omaha police said in a written statement that first responders dealt with 30 people for medical reasons and seven were taken to hospitals. Most of the attendees parked in remote lots and were shuttled to the event in buses. Police say traffic was snarled and shuttles overwhelmed when crowds left the event around 9 p.m. Police say the last of the rally goers were able to leave around midnight.

South Dakota’s largest medical organizations on Tuesday launched a joint effort to promote mask-wearing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the state suffers through one of the nation’s worst outbreaks. The move counters Gov. Kristi Noem, who has repeatedly cast doubt on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wear face coverings in public. The Department of Health reports the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 broke records for the third straight day. Groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, school administrators and businesses promoted mask-wearing, warning that the state's hospitals could face a tipping point in their ability to handle virus cases.

Sixty people are charged in a widespread magazine telemarketing scam that authorities say netted $300 million from more than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable people nationwide. Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald announced the charges Wednesday. She called it the largest elder fraud scheme in the country. The defendants are from 14 states and two Canadian provinces. Court documents say that over the last 20 years, they used a network of fake magazine sales companies and telemarketing call centers to trick people into making large or repeat payments. Prosecutors say the companies operated in Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, California, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Arkansas. 

News release from LAMB Theatre:

LAMB Theatre is incredibly excited to announce an extraordinary gift of Half a Million dollars from The Bluestem Fund. This gift will be used for the 625 Douglas project to restore Sioux City’s first Auditorium into a new home for LAMB Theatre.   

Executive Director, Diana Wooley stated, “ This gift comes at exactly the right time and is a tremendous boost and huge endorsement of this very exciting project.   Thanks so much to the Bluestem Fund for your belief in the importance of the 625 Douglas rebirth.”

Prior to this gift, this project has received several grants including the Margaret Ann Martin Everist Hall, Grayfield tax credit, MRHD grant, Gilchrist Matching Grants and is currently in the process of obtaining state historic tax credits. 

The projected opening on this building is Fall/Winter of 2022. 

LAMB Theatre is currently accepting donations to the 625 Douglas Project.